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Minor Fine But Serious Consequences

Minor Fine But Serious Consequences

 

Have you recently gotten a traffic ticket? Thinking about paying the ticket because it is just a “small fine”? Before you do, you will want to read this article!

 

When someone receives a ticket their first thought is usually “how much is this going to cost me?” and many forget that there are additional fees to be concerned about far beyond the fine amount displayed on the ticket. 

 

Most commonly, it is your insurance increase that you will be concerned about. But, what affects your insurance is where people often make costly mistakes. For example, consider a speeding ticket with a $250 fine and 3 demerit points vs. a charge with a drive in contravention ticket with a $50 fine and 0 demerit points. The charge with a lower fine and 0 demerit points appears to be the better choice but it is actually a major conviction by most insurance companies when the speeding ticket would only be a minor. 

 

In this article we will take a look at two charges that have low fines and 0 demerit points but are actually considered a major conviction by your insurance provider and can result in substantial increases. 

 

Failing to Surrender Insurance Card / Fail to Have Insurance Card

 

Operator to carry insurance card

3 (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,

(a) an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or

(b) an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,

and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, s. 3 (1).

The insurance card; that slip of paper we throw away into our glove compartment never to look at again is actually a very important slip of paper. Every operator of a motor vehicle must carry a valid insurance card showing that the vehicle is insured and provide it to an officer upon demand. 

 

The charge of “Fail to Surrender Insurance Card” or “Fail to Have Insurance Card” has a set fine of $50 and carries 0 demerit points upon conviction. However, despite a less than intimidating fine amount these charges carry a significant increase in insurance premiums if convicted. Do not be misled by the fine amount when deciding if you should dispute the charge 

 

It is important to note the card must be valid and not expired. The card must also be surrendered upon demand. This means that you must provide the slip within reasonable time and the officer is not obligated to allow you additional time to search for the document nor are they obligated to search through a folder of documents. 

 

If you are driving a vehicle that is not yours, you are still obligated to ensure the insurance papers are in the vehicle. It is always recommended to keep your driving documents in a seperate folder to easily keep track of. 

 

Drive in Contravention of Licence Conditions

 

Driving in breach of condition prohibited

(9) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while contravening a condition contained in his or her driver’s licence or imposed by the regulations.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 32 (9).

This is a charge that covers a broad range of possible offences. Your driver’s licence could have conditions specifying that you wear contact lenses while driving, or that you not drive while it is dark. The conditions will vary from driver to driver and some drivers may not have any restrictions on their licence. But, if they do, and they are caught contravening those conditions, they will receive a charge with serious consequences. 

 

“Driving in contravention of licence conditions” carries with it a $85 fine and 0 demerit points. Again, the charge appears to be a minor convection due to the low fine and lack of demerit points but it is a serious conviction for insurance purposes. 

 

If you have licence conditions imposed on you, it is important to follow them as you may receive a ticket under the Highway Traffic Act if caught. 

 

What to do if you have been charged

If you have received a traffic ticket, I strongly recommend getting a free consultation from our office. You can receive a free consultation from most legal service providers and these consultations will help the strong stand out from the rest. After receiving a consultation, it is always wise to check the reviews of the company as well. To receive a free consultation from myself, please visit www.otdlegal.ca.

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