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Reduced Speeding Ticket – Should I Fight It?

Question:

Hi. I was driving downtown and apparently was over the speed limit. I got stopped by the police and handed a speeding ticket. I was told that originally I was going 67 in a 50 but the officer dropped the speed to 65 in a 50 saying that I wouldn’t get any demerits for the smaller ticket. Is this true? Can I just pay the ticket and not worry about it?

Response:

It sounds like you’ve been charged under section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act:

Rate of speed

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).

Speeding charges are one of the most common offences that we help clients with. Generally the penalties associated with a speeding ticket are fine, demerit points, record of conviction, and impact on insurance. As the rate of speed over the posted speed limit increases, so too does the fine on the ticket. 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+ kmh over the posted speed limit: 6 demerit points

Although you have been charged at 15 km/h over the posted speed limit, that does not mean that the ticket carries no repercussions. A conviction, whether you plead guilty by paying the ticket or are convicted at court, will result in a record of conviction on your driving history. Depending on your driving history and your insurance company, you may also face an increase to your insurance cost.

Can you avoid a conviction by contesting your ticket at court? Possibly.

I could certainly have your matter filed with the court and file notice with the Prosecutor for a release of the police officer’s roadside notes. Generally speeding cases where the rate of speed has been reduced at roadside will be all or nothing defences. Either there will be a legal argument to have the charge withdrawn or the charge will stand as is. Usually a trial is not recommended in such matters as the Prosecutor may apply to the court to have the charge amended to the original rate of speed. However, protecting your interests by at least reviewing the Prosecuctor’s evidence is inexpensive for legal cost and will allow you to find any potential defences before simply accepting the consequences of a conviction. In rare cases where a client may be facing a licence suspension or inability to remain insured due to a bad driving record, proceeding to trial may be an option to be discussed.

I would recommend contacting my office to discuss your matter in more detail. We offer a no cost, no obligation review of matters and for simple cases such as yours it shouldn’t take more than 5 to 10 minutes to gather the necessary information from you. I can be reached via our toll free number 1-844-647-6869 and would be happy to assist you with your ticket.

Posted under Traffic Ticket Defence

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