Dear Urban Diplomat: Do television crews have the right to stop traffic on my street?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
An episode of Nikita is being filmed outside my condo. Every morning for the last few days, the crew has stopped traffic until the take wraps—which feels like an eternity when I’m trying to get to work. It’s absurd that my day is interrupted for a TV show. Can I just drive past the woman with the headset next time? What authority does she have to stop me?
Frankly, I’m more concerned that people still watch Nikita—and apparently in sufficient numbers to necessitate fresh episodes. But as for your qualm: film crews in Toronto are, by law, allowed to stop traffic for up to three minutes at a time. If the delay exceeds that limit, you can remind the police officer (one is required whenever filming impedes traffic) of the rule and call in a complaint with the Central Paid Duty Office. Blitzkrieging some secretary over a minor traffic snare, however, might suggest you’re one of the high-strung road ragers who give Toronto drivers a bad name. A simpler remedy? Leave five minutes earlier, and consider decaf.
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