section 2

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines highway as a road accessible to the public, including bridges and tunnels.

SECTION WORDING

2. In this Act, "highway" means a road to which the public has the right of access, and includes bridges over which or tunnels through which a road passes

EXPLANATION

In the Criminal Code of Canada, the term "highway" is defined as "any road, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles." This definition encompasses a wide range of public roads and thoroughfares, including both paved and unpaved roads, as well as public areas that are intended for use by vehicles.

COMMENTARY

The definition of *highway" outlined in section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada plays a crucial role in the interpretation and enforcement of criminal law in Canada. Essentially, this section defines what constitutes a *public space" that is subject to certain offenses and criminal activity. As such, it is important to examine the implications of this definition and how it contributes to the overall objectives of the Criminal Code. Firstly, the definition of *highway" is quite broad and encompasses a wide range of public spaces, including not just roads, but also bridges and tunnels. This is important because it ensures that all types of publicly accessible routes are covered by criminal law in Canada. For example, offenses such as dangerous driving or impaired driving can occur on bridges or through tunnels just as easily as they can on regular roads, and as such, it is vital that these areas are included in the definition of *highway" to ensure consistent enforcement of the law. Furthermore, the inclusion of the phrase *to which the public has the right of access" is also significant, as it clarifies that only publicly accessible routes are covered by the definition of *highway". This means that privately owned roads or routes that are only accessible to certain individuals (such as through a gated community) are not considered highways under the Criminal Code. This is important because it limits the scope of the law to areas that are truly *public", rather than intruding on the rights of private property owners. One of the main objectives of the Criminal Code is to promote public safety and protect individuals from harm. By defining what constitutes a *highway", the Code is able to target criminal activity that is likely to cause harm or danger to others in public spaces. For example, offenses such as driving under the influence or dangerous driving can have severe consequences for other individuals who are sharing the road. By including bridges and tunnels in the definition of *highway", the Code is able to address potential safety hazards in these areas as well. This helps to promote public safety, reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries, and deter criminal activity in these spaces. Overall, section 2 of the Criminal Code plays a crucial role in defining what constitutes a *highway" in Canada. This definition is important because it allows for consistent enforcement of criminal law in public spaces, while also respecting the rights of private property owners. By promoting public safety and protecting individuals from harm, this section of the Code helps to uphold some of the primary objectives of Canadian criminal law.

STRATEGY

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a definition of highway" which is crucial to many criminal offences related to driving, such as impaired driving or dangerous driving. As such, it is important for lawyers and individuals involved in criminal cases to have a clear understanding of what this definition entails. One of the key strategies that can be employed when dealing with this section is to carefully analyze and interpret the wording of the definition. Specifically, it is important to note that the definition includes both roads" and bridges over which or tunnels through which a road passes". This means that any area which meets this definition can be considered a highway under the Criminal Code, regardless of whether it is a traditional road or not. For example, a pedestrian walkway that the public has the right to access could be considered a highway if it passes over a bridge or through a tunnel. Another important strategy is to research case law that has interpreted and applied this definition in the past. This can help to provide guidance on how the courts have understood the definition and how it may be applied in a specific case. For example, in R v McCallum, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that a golf cart path on a private golf course did not meet the definition of a highway because it was not open to the public. This case highlights the importance of considering both the public's right of access and the physical characteristics of the area in question when determining whether it meets the definition of a highway. In addition, it may be useful to consult with experts in fields related to transportation and roadways, such as traffic engineers or urban planners, to gain a deeper understanding of the various factors that may impact whether an area can be considered a highway under the Criminal Code. This can be particularly important in cases where the area in question is complex or unconventional, such as a bike lane or a multi-use path. Finally, it is important to consider any relevant provincial or municipal legislation that may impact the definition of highway". While the Criminal Code provides a broad definition, it is possible that other laws may further refine or clarify what is considered a highway in a particular jurisdiction. For example, a provincial highway traffic act may define highway" in a way that differs slightly from the Criminal Code. Overall, a careful analysis of the wording of the definition, research into case law, consultation with experts, and consideration of relevant legislation can all be valuable strategies when dealing with section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada. By taking these steps, lawyers and individuals involved in criminal cases can better understand the parameters of the definition and how it may be applied in a given situation.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q.

What is the definition of "highway" in the Criminal Code of Canada?

A.

"Highway" is defined as a road to which the public has the right of access, including bridges over which or tunnels through which a road passes.

Q.

Does the definition of "highway" include private roads?

A.

No, "highway" only includes roads to which the public has the right of access.

Q.

What is the purpose of including bridges and tunnels in the definition of "highway"?

A.

Bridges and tunnels are included because they can be part of a road to which the public has the right of access.

Q.

Does the definition of "highway" include sidewalks or footpaths?

A.

No, "highway" only includes roads to which the public has the right of access.

Q.

What is the purpose of including bridges and tunnels in the definition of "highway"?

A.

Bridges and tunnels are included because they can be part of a road to which the public has the right of access.

Q.

Does the definition of "highway" include sidewalks or footpaths?

A.

No, the definition of "highway" only includes roads.

Q.

Are highways only found in urban areas?

A.

No, highways can be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

Q.

Can the owner of a highway restrict public access to the road?

A.

The owner of a highway cannot restrict public access to the road unless they have obtained permission to do so from the appropriate authorities.

Q.

What is the significance of the public having the right of access to a road for it to be considered a highway?

A.

The public's right of access ensures that the road is available for use by all members of the public.

Q.

Are highways always owned by the government?

A.

No, highways can be owned by private entities or individuals, but they must still provide public access to the road.

Q.

What is the penalty for committing an offence on a highway?

A.

The penalty for committing an offence on a highway can vary depending on the specific offence committed.

Q.

Does the definition of "highway" apply to other Acts or laws in Canada?

A.

The definition of "highway" may be used in other Acts or laws in Canada, but it depends on the specific context in which the term is being used.

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