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Why is it illegal to put gas in my car on a Quebec highway shoulder?

19 Sep 17
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My son-in-law ran out of petrol on Highway 20 in Dorval, Que. While he was on the shoulder of the road waiting for somebody to bring him a gallon of petrol, a routier [Quebec highway safety patrol] truck stopped and told him it was illegal to put petrol in his car on the side of the street, and he has to be towed. He explained that when the police came by he would find a $300 fine and demerits, and anyone who brought him petrol could find an $800 fine plus demerits. I have never heard of this and could not find anything on the world wide web to imply that this is accurate. Was this routier guy stringing him a line? — Norm, Montcalm, Que.

Whether you break down, run out of gas or get a flat on highways around Montreal, you are stuck with a single choice — you need to get towed.

“This area of Highway 20 is an especially dangerous place to run out of gas, so if someone does break down, they must be towed to a gas station with an organization which has contracted with the MTQ [Quebec Ministry of Transportation],” said Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau, spokesman with Sûreté du Québec (SQ). “Several highways in Quebec have been designated , and that’s based on safety concerns concerning the setup of the highway{}”

If you break down on — designated by green signs that reveal a tow truck and state exclusif — you must be towed by the company that has the contract for this zone. Each company handles just 1 zone, so that they can arrive quickly — within 15 minutes — combined with a routier protection truck with a flashing arrow.

“These tow trucks are quickly available, whereas in the event you call the CAA or a buddy, the delays could create serious injuries or injury,” Thibaudeau said. “It is too dangerous to be wandering around outside the vehicle.”

That means it is also illegal for that friend to bring gas or booster cables to come to your aid, Thibaudeau said.

Two trucks required

How can you know which tow truck company to call?

You call the police at *4141 and they send a truck for you. There could be one on the way — MTQ staff track highway cameras for vehicles that are stopped, and ministry trucks patrol the highways, Thibaudeau said.

And if you think it’s something that you can manage yourself, like placing the spare tire? If you attempt to DIY, you can die, a tow truck driver said.

“It’s illegal in Quebec to step out of your automobile if you stall on our highways. It is extremely dangerous,” said Dan Drozda, who works for a Montreal towing company and runs the Facebook page . “Even us, once we respond to some highway telephone, we can’t step a foot from our car until a protection vehicle is behind us blocking the lane{}”

That protection vehicle was required in exclusive towing zones because 2006, according to recommendations following the deaths of an SQ officer and a street supervisor who were struck while putting up security cones following a bus broke down. The Excess vehicle nearly doubled the price of towing to over $100, La Presse in 2007.

We requested several Montreal-area towing firms what the speed may be now and did not get an immediate response.

Everywhere else

If you break down on another street in Quebec, the safest thing to do would be to call authorities, roadside assistance or a tow truck in lieu of a friend, Thibaudeau said.

You are not supposed to walk across the street, and neither is the friend with the jerrycan, Thibaudeau said.

“It is a $15 fine,” he said. “It’s a little fine, but it is an issue of safety.”

The Société p l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), a Crown corporation responsible for licensing drivers and vehicles, said in an email it recommends planning ahead to be certain you have enough gas in your vehicle.

If your car does break down, slow down and reach the shoulder or as far right as possible. Put in your hazard lights and stay in your car until emergency services arrive.

“If there’s a possibility of collision, leave the car, lift the hood and move to a safe location,” the SAAQ stated.

We checked the other states and did not find any bans on filling up with petrol or changing a flat tire on the street.

But in Ontario, for example, it is illegal to walk on many sections of the 400-series highways.

And it is dangerous everywhere — in 2015, a 22-year-old guy was When he was hit by a semi while changing a tire on Highway 16 in Saskatchewan. Also in 2015, some time changing a tire on Highway 400.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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