Some motorists are being caught off-guard when police tell them some of their vehicle accessories are being used illegally.

There are numerous accessories that are legal for retailers to sell, but are illegal for consumers to use. 

Things like seatbelt clips that keep the belt from retracting all the way back, window tinting used in the front of vehicles and licence plate covers that mask the word, "Ontario," all lead to fines. 


Murielle Samson was surprised when warned her seat belt clip is illegal. (CBC)

The fines, ranging from $110 to $240, are a surprise for some drivers using these items. Police said most drivers aren't aware using the items violates the Highway Traffic Act.

"Unfortunately people think that what you buy in the stores … is perfectly legal, and it's not," said Sgt. Mark Gatien of Ottawa police.

Murielle Samson was pulled over and warned about the seatbelt clip that makes her strap more comfortable.

"He just told me it was illegal and that it's a $240 fine. I didn't know that," she said.

"I thought it was legal and if it's not legal it shouldn't be sold," said Samson.

Gatien said it is illegal because the seatbelt is not operated the way a manufacturer intends.

He also said drivers should contact police if they are not sure if an item they are using is legal.

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