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What Is A Speeding Ticket or Summons?

What is a speeding ticket imageSpeeding tickets are without a doubt the most common offence that the police issue under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.  Every day thousands of cars travel our province’s roadways as Ontarians visit family and friends, go to work, drop off or pickup their children from school, or just hit the country roads for a leisurely weekend drive.

But, is a speeding ticket serious?  Can you just pay it and not worry about any consequences?  Or if you do pay it, what will happen to your driver’s licence and insurance?  Could entering a plea of guilt cause you to lose your driver’s licence?

Let’s take a look!

What is a Speeding Ticket or Summons?

Speeding charges are issued under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) section 128:

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).

There are two general ways that the police may charge you for speeding.

“A ticket”

A ticket for speeding is generally issued for rates of speed that do not exceed more that 49 km/h over the posted speed limit.  A ticket shows your basic information as your legal name, address, and driver’s licence number.  The ticket also shows what offence you have been charged with, along with your set fine and total payable fine (this includes a $5.00 court cost and the victim fine surcharge).  The ticket, however, does not show how many demerit points you will get or whether the ticket will result in your licence being suspended.  For an accurate answer on those questions, you are best to ask one of our staff who will be happy to assist you.

“A Summons”

A summons for speeding is much more serious and is generally issued where the rate of speed is 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit.  A summons includes all of the information included in a ticket, with the exception of how much the court fine is for the offence.  In the case of a summons, the amount of the fine would be determined by the court.  A summons means that you are also facing much more severe court penalties such as markedly higher fines and potential court-ordered licence suspension.  Like a ticket, a summons does not indicated how many demerit points you are facing or whether or not a conviction will result in a suspension of your licence.

How Many Demerit Points Do I Get For Speeding?

Demerit points are determined under Ontario Regulation 339/94.  For speeding offences, demerit points are determined by how fast the defendant was travelling over the posted speed limit:

Rate of Speeding Demerit Points
+1 to +15 0
+16 to +29 3
+30 to +49 4
50+ or greater 6

However, if you are a novice driver, you may also be facing escalated sanctions penalties.

Do Novice Drivers Get Greater Penalties For Speeding?

A novice driver, is a driver that has not year earned a full driver’s licence.  This would include beginner licences such as G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M.  These beginner licences have a smaller pool of demerit points that they can accumulate before running into trouble with the Ministry of Transportation.  A regular driver with a full licence would face the following consequences as they accumulated demerit points:

2 to 8 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

9 to 14 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

15+ points:
Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

In comparison, novice drivers face those same penalties based on the following accumulated demerit points:

2 to 5 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

6 to 8 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

9 or more points:
Your licence will be suspended for 60 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

Beyond being issued an MTO warning letter, being required to attend an MTO interview, or having your licence suspended, novice drivers are also subject to escalated sanctions penalties.  These are additional penalties that specifically apply to novice drivers under the following conditions:

  • convicted of breaking graduated licensing rules
  • convicted of a Highway Traffic Act offence that results in four or more demerit points (e.g., street racing, careless driving)
  • subject to a court-ordered suspension for a Highway Traffic Act offence that would have otherwise resulted in four or more demerit points

Any conviction for a speeding offence that was 30 km/h or more over the posted speed limit would contravene the second basis under which escalated sanctions penalties are issued (a conviction of an offence that carries 4 or more demerit points).  The exact penalty issued depends on whether or not the defendant has previously triggered escalated sanctions penalties:

  • For a first offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 30 days.
  • For a second offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 90 days.
  • For a third offence: you will lose your novice licence.  You will need to re-apply for your licence and start all over, taking all tests and paying all fees. You will also lose any time discount you earned, any time you were credited, and any fees you have paid.

How Much Will My Speeding Fine Be?

Speeding fines are calculated under the formula found in HTA s.128(14) as follows:

(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).

HTA section 128(14.1) increases these fines to double the normal amount if the offence occurred in a construction zone where workers were present.

Can The Court Suspend My Driver’s Licence For Speeding?

Yes.  Under HTA s.128(15), a conviction for travelling at 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit can result in the following suspensions dependent upon your previous driving history:

(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).

A “subsequent conviction” is defined under HTA sections 128(15.1) and 128(15.2):

Determining subsequent conviction

(15.1) In determining whether a conviction is a subsequent conviction for the purposes of subsection (15), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.  2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (9).

Five-year limitation

(15.2) Clauses (15) (b) and (c) do not apply when the subsequent conviction is more than five years after the first conviction.  2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (9).

Can I Get CVOR Points For A Speeding Ticket?

Yes.  Just like the concern that a truck driver has in protecting their driving record, demerit points, and insurance rates, the driver’s employer also has to protect their record and CVOR points.  CVOR points escalate much more quickly than demerit points do depending on far over the posted speed limit the driver was:

  • +1 to +10 km/h – 2 CVOR points
  • +11 to +20 km/h – 3 CVOR points
  • +21 km/h or greater – 5 CVOR points

It is important to note when looking at these penalty ranges, that if a transport truck driver is at 21 km/h or more over the posted speed limit:  while they would only be in the second lowest penalty range for 3 demerit points, their employer would be in the highest penalty range of 5 CVOR points (that is the same CVOR point penalty for a Careless Driving conviction!).  Very serious offence convictions with high CVOR point penalties can result in the driver’s employment being terminated and having difficulty finding new employment.

What Should I Do If I Get A Speeding Ticket?

The first important thing is to seek out the relevant information that you will need to protect yourself.  If you are convicted of an offence, the court will always be able to see that conviction on your driving history.  A licenced paralegal is generally your most cost-effective avenue in providing your defence at court.  Paralegals know the law and they know the court process.  They are there to argue your defence at court on your behalf.  Many defendants are relieved to find out that their defence can be argued without their ever needing to attend court.

If you have been charged with a speeding offence, contact our office as early as possible.  Our friendly staff offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to go through your case history and details with you.  We can be reached via the toll-free number 1-844-647-6869, by email at info@otdlegal.ca, or by text at 226-240-2480.  You can also submit an online consultation request any time of day or night and one of our staff will contact you during regular business hours.

Posted under Speeding, CVOR Points, Demerit Points, Traffic Ticket Defence

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