By far, the most common type of offence that we help defendants with are speeding tickets. Every day people just like you hit the roadways to travel to work, to drop off their children at school or daycare, to travel for vacation, or to hit the town for an evening of fun and entertainment. It only takes a moment of inattention to accelerate above the speed limit or miss sign denoting a change in the local speed limit. The next thing you know you are seeing the flashing lights of a police cruiser in your rearview mirror and you’re getting a ticket or summons.
So what penalties should you be concerned about? The general concerns with a speeding offence will be fine, demerit points, CVOR points, insurance, and driver’s licence suspension.
Speeding offences fall under section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act. Subsection 14 deals specifically with fines:
(14) Every person who contravenes this section or any by-law or regulation made under this section is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable, where the rate of speed at which the motor vehicle was driven,
(a) is less than 20 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, to a fine of $3 for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit;
(b) is 20 kilometres per hour or more but less than 30 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, to a fine of $4.50 for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit;
(c) is 30 kilometres per hour or more but less than 50 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, to a fine of $7 for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit; and
(d) is 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit, to a fine of $9.75 for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (7).
In addition to the above set fines is added the victim fine surcharge and court costs to calculate the total payable fine. If you have received a speeding ‘ticket,’ then your offence notice will show your set fine and total payable fine on the bottom left-hand corner of the ticket. If you have received a speeding ‘summons,’ then your offence notice will not show the set fine and total-payable fine amounts. Depending on how far over the posted speed limit you are, your fine could be under $100 or over $1000.
It is also important to note that the above fines are doubled in construction zones where workers are present.
Ontario drivers start out with 0 demerit points on a new driver’s licence. Demerit points are accumulated each time you are convicted of an offence that has a demerit point penalty. The actual amount of demerit points for a speeding offence varies depending upon how far beyond the posted speed limit the offence is:
+1 to +15 km/h – 0 demerit points
+16 to +29 km/h – 3 demerit points
+30 to +49 km/h – 4 demerit points
+50 km/h or greater – 6 demerit points
Commercial motor vehicle drivers, such as professional truck drivers with a transport truck, accumulate CVOR points similar to how non-commercial motor vehicle drivers accumulate demerit points. However, CVOR point penalties escalate much quicker:
+1 to +10 km/h – 2 CVOR points
+11 to +20 km/h – 3 CVOR points
+21 km/h or greater – 5 CVOR points
To provide some context to the above numbers, a conviction for Careless Driving under HTA s.130 carries 5 CVOR points offence upon conviction. A transport truck driver traveling at 101 km/h in a posted 80 km/h zone is now at the same level of CVOR point penalty as a Careless Driving offence for having carelessly collided with another vehicle or rolled their truck off the highway. CVOR point penalties in this range can have a severe impact on becoming or remaining employable as a truck driver.
Generally, the more offences on your driving record and the greater the severity of those offences, the greater the expense of obtaining automobile insurance. Once your risk assessment reaches a certain point, you will no longer qualify for standard insurance coverage and will have to seek out high-risk insurance coverage that be very expensive to obtain. Generally, your insurance broker should be able to provide you with some feedback in this area although you may wish to use some caution in providing information that could result in changes to your insurance coverage.
One of the worst possible consequences for a driver is to have their licence suspended. The ability to drive is integral to the day-to-day responsibilities of modern life whether you live rurally in a large city. A suspension can occur due to accumulating too many demerit points for your class of driver’s licence. A suspension can also occur due to having a class 1 or class 2 licence and receiving a conviction for any single offence carrying 4 or more demerit points (in this case being 30 km/h or greater over the posted speed limit). If you received a summons for Speeding 50 km/h or greater over the posted speed limit, the court can issue a driver’s licence suspension as follows:
(15) Subject to subsection 207 (7), where a court has convicted a person for a contravention of this section and has determined that the person convicted was driving at a rate of speed of 50 or more kilometres per hour greater than the speed limit, the court may,
(a) suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than 30 days;
(b) upon the first subsequent conviction where the court determined in respect of each conviction that the person was driving at a rate of speed of 50 or more kilometres per hour greater than the speed limit, suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than 60 days;
(c) upon the second subsequent conviction or an additional subsequent conviction, where the court determined in respect of each conviction that the person was driving at a rate of speed of 50 or more kilometres per hour greater than the speed limit, suspend the driver’s licence of the person for a period of not more than one year. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (9).
Speeding offences are more than just an unwelcome fine. Being convicted of a Speeding offence can result in demerit points, CVOR points, increased insurance costs, and a suspension of your driver’s licence. In turn, these penalties can then cause stress, anxiety, loss of employment, financial hardship, and difficulties in meeting the day-to-obligations of your personal and family responsibilities. If you are stopped and charged by the police for travelling over the posted speed limit…take the time to know your rights and options. Understand what penalties you are facing and what you can do to protect your personal interests. Weigh out the costs and benefits in making an educated decision about how you wish to handle the situation.
OTD Legal provides a no cost, no obligation initial consultation to help provide the basic information you need to make a decision and can generally provide a flat-rate fee to cover the cost of the court work involved. Having the OTD Legal team working on your behalf often times also means that your charge can be fought without needing to have you present for any court attendances. Our staff will be happy to assist you and can be reached via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org