Canada’s weirdest laws: in Ontario, a one horse open sleigh must have two bells

Even Santa may not be able to talk the province out of giving him a fine if he only has one bell attached to his sleigh.
Even Santa may not be able to talk the province out of giving him a fine if he only has one bell attached to his sleigh. (Photo: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)

In order to be able to go “dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” in Ontario, the sleigh must have more than one bell attached to it.

Even Santa may not be able to talk the province out of giving him a fine if he only has one bell attached to his sleigh, as the Ontario Highway Traffic act has an entire section devoted to sleigh bells that reads:

Every person travelling on a highway with a sleigh or sled drawn by a horse or other animal shall have at least two bells attached to the harness or to the sleigh or sled in such a manner as to give ample warning sound.”

The fine for the crime of having only one sleigh bell attached is an outrageous $5.

We at Findlaw.ca are not the only ones amused by this rather strange law. The CBC Radio show This is That found the law so amusing, they not only posted about it on Facebook and Twitter, they also included it in their This is That Travel Book to Canada.

Then there is the question what type of bell should be attached to the sleigh. Although the act doesn’t say, people looking for more than one bell to attach to their sleigh have lots of options.

Whatever bells you may choose for your sleigh, make sure there are at least two of them if you are an Ontario resident, or you may have to forgo your daily cup of coffee in order to pay the fine.

Happy holidays!

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