Speeding. Virtually every Ontario driver will at some point or another do it. But how severe can the penalties be and how do the penalties work?
Speeding offences fall under section 128 of The Highway Traffic Act:
128. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than,
(a) 50 kilometres per hour on a highway within a local municipality or within a built-up area;
(b) despite clause (a), 80 kilometres per hour on a highway, not within a built-up area, that is within a local municipality that had the status of a township on December 31, 2002 and, but for the enactment of the Municipal Act, 2001, would have had the status of a township on January 1, 2003, if the municipality is prescribed by regulation;
(c) 80 kilometres per hour on a highway designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as a controlled-access highway under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, whether or not the highway is within a local municipality or built-up area;
(d) the rate of speed prescribed for motor vehicles on a highway in accordance with subsection (2), (5), (6), (6.1) or (7);
(e) the maximum rate of speed set under subsection (10) and posted in a construction zone designated under subsection (8) or (8.1); or
(f) the maximum rate of speed posted on a highway or portion of a highway pursuant to section 128.0.1. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (1); 2006, c. 11, Sched. B, s. 6 (2); 2006, c. 32, Sched. D, s. 4 (1).
Ranges of speeding offences for demerit point penalties are as follows:
1 to 15 km/h over the posted speed limit: 0 demerit points
16 to 29 km/h over the posted speed limit: 3 demerit points
30 to 49 km/h over the posted speed limit: 4 demerit points
50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit: 6 demerit points
There is an alternate offence for traveling at a rate of 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit known as Stunt Driving (or Race Motor Vehicle) that also carries 6 demerit points under section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act:
“Racing, stunts, etc., prohibited
172. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in a race or contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager. 2007, c. 13, s. 21.
(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her driver’s licence may be suspended,
(a) on a first conviction under this section, for not more than two years; or
(b) on a subsequent conviction under this section, for not more than 10 years. 2007, c. 13, s. 21.
Changes to the cost of insurance are generally where the largest financial considerations will come into play. A general rule of thumb for insurance is that the greater the number of demerit points, the greater the impact to the cost of insurance a conviction will be. However, the most accurate source for information on potential changes to your insurance rate will be your insurance broker. Generally increases to insurance will last 3 to 4 years.
A suspension of your driver’s licence can also occur upon a conviction under section 128 or 172. Section 128 can result in a 30 day licence suspension being issued by the court, whereas a conviction under section 172 can result in up to a two year suspension on a first offence or up to 10 years on a subsequent conviction.
It is good to keep these penalties in mind when traveling Ontario roadways. Trying to save a few minutes on the way to work or on the family vacation could result in thousands of dollars in fines and increased insurance costs as well as demerit points and a record of conviction on your driving record.
If you are stopped and charged by the police for traveling over the posted speed limit, know your legal rights and options in protecting yourself a court. Generally most speeding charges can at least be reduced to a lesser offence if there is no outright defence to have it thrown out of court. We offer a free, no-cost initial review of cases and would be happy to provide you the basic information you need to make an informed choice about what to do with your speeding ticket. I can be reached to discuss your matter in more detail through our toll-free number at 1-844-647-6869 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.