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Cost of Speeding in Ontario -

August 1, 2013

Ontario Speeding Ticket Penalties

The payment of a fine is an admission of guilt and will place a permanent conviction on your record. A plea of guilt by paying a fine will also add demerit points to your licence. A ticket for driving over 15 km/hr will add from three to six demerit points. If you have received a certain number of demerit points, the Ministry of Transportation may request to see you for an interview and may suspend your licence.

Speeding tickets are not only costly due to fines and demerit points, but also may increase the amount that you pay for your car insurance. Though some people doubt the value of paying a professional to challenge their ticket when it will cost them more than their fine, the reality is that it may be more costly in the long run to pay the fine due to the potentially higher costs of insurance. Hiring a professional may save you thousands of dollars over the three years the speeding ticket will be on your record.

Demerit Points for Driving Over the Limit

Generally, speeding tickets in Ontario will add demerit points to a record. The police officer issuing the ticket has no say in the amount of points given to you, but will issue you a ticket based on how many km/hr you drove over the speed limit. The amount of demerit points you receive will be based on how fast over the limit you were alleged to be driving. Everyone starts out with 0 points, and points are added with each speeding violation. The amount of demerit points and their associated speeds over the limit are decided by the Ministry of Transportation and are as follows:

New Drivers and Speeding Demerit Points

Class G1, G2, M1 and M2 drivers are sent a warning letter by mail once 2 or more points are accumulated. If you are in any of these classes and receive 6 demerit points, an interview will be scheduled by the Ministry of Transportation to review your record and they will ask you to provide an explanation on why your licence should not be suspended. Not attending this interview will result in an automatic suspension. If you accrue 9 demerit points, you will receive a 60 day suspension after turning in your licence to the Ministry of Transportation. Not giving your licence may result in a 2 year licence suspension. Following the period of suspension, the demerit points are reduced to 4, and any other infractions that add more points can lead to another interview. If you accrue 9 points for a second time, you may face a licence suspension of 6 months after turning in your licence.

Fully Licenced Drivers and Speeding Demerit Points

Fully-licenced drivers will receive a warning letter in the mail once 6 demerit points are accrued. After accruing 9 points, the Ministry of Transportation will schedule an interview to review your record and will ask you to give reasons why you should not face a licence suspension. Not attending this interview will probably result in a licence suspension. Accruing 15 demerit points will result in an automatic 30 day licence suspension after turning in your licence to the Ministry of Transportation. Not turning in your licence at this point may result in a 2 year licence suspension. Once the suspension period is over you may need to take a driver exam and your demerit points will be reduced to 7. Any points added from this time may require an interview. Accruing 15 points once again will result in a 6 month licence suspension.

Paying the Ticket Is Admitting Guilt

If you pay for a speeding ticket, you are pleading guilty and it will be placed on your record, regardless of whether or not it leads to demerit points. Challenging the ticket in court will allow you to prevent the infraction from being placed on your record or get a lesser penalty. Even if you received a ticket for driving 0-15 km/hr over the limit by an officer who observed you driving at a faster speed but lowered your ticket, any mistakes committed by that officer in the process of giving you the ticket can cause either further leniency or the complete elimination of the ticket in court. A professional who reviews your case and the evidence presented can find these mistakes and provide you with the best possible defence to prevent you from getting the infraction placed on your record and to minimise or completely remove the infraction.

Speeding Ticket Fines

Tickets that are much more serious have significantly higher fines that may not show on the ticket. The fine is not shown if you are given a Summons to Defendant, which will require you to plead innocent or guilty. Pleading guilty for this level of offence may cause you to be fined $500 to $10,000. Pleading guilty without seeking professional help in this situation may thus be much more costly.

A fine from a speeding ticket will depend on how much over the speed limit you allegedly drove. Below the various levels of infractions are listed based on the speed a person is said to drive. In Ontario, all speeding tickets add a Victim Surcharge on top of the fine to assist violent crime victims. Each notice of offence will therefore have two amounts on them.

Insurance Consequences for Speeding

Insurance companies focus not on the number of demerit points you have accrued, but on the severity and number of convictions placed on your record. Generally, one or two minor speeding tickets will not result in hiked car insurance rates, but more than two tickets or a serious speeding violation will result in a higher insurance rate. For example, if you are handed a speeding ticket for driving 30 km/hr above the legal limit and you pay the fine rather than challenge it with professional assistance, you may face significantly higher car insurance, even if it is only your first offense. Driving 30 km/hr above the limit is normally considered a significant violation by insurers, whereas 29 km/hr and under is considered much less severe. Therefore, if you are given a ticket for driving over this key threshold, TTSLF professionals can reduce or eliminate the infraction in court, saving you an immense amount of money and trouble in the long run.

Insurance companies will use any traffic infractions placed on your record to increase their rates, and will increase rates even higher for multiple infractions on your record. A ticket for driving 10 km/hr above the limit or for not possessing your insurance card during your interaction with the officer or for not having the correct licence plate sticker may seem minor but can be added to your record by paying the fines and not challenging them in court. Paying the fines for these infractions is equivalent to pleading guilty. These three minor infractions together will not only be placed on your record but may also trigger an increase in car insurance, and some insurers will no longer be willing to insure you.

Suspension of Licence and Jail

If a speeding ticket is very serious, you may face a licence suspension or even time in jail. You should fully understand the penalties in your case before admitting any guilt, so that you can make the right decisions on how you handle your case.

Faulty Evidence and Officer Errors

Since officers are not given in-depth training on the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), they may commit critical errors when issuing tickets. Because paying for a speeding ticket is an admission of guilt, by doing so you may be pleading guilty to an infraction you did not make. There may be a myriad of mistakes an officer may commit on the ticket or mistakes in the evidence presented against you that can completely absolve you of the ticket. With the help of a professional to review the officer's conduct and the submission of evidence, you are assured the best outcome for your situation.

Additional Resources & Advice

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