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Fight Your Seat Belt Ticket In Ontario
Were you charged with a seat belt ticket in Ontario? We can help you! Under the Highway Traffic Act seat belt law applies to the driver of the vehicle and all passengers. If you are found guilty of not wearing or improperly wearing a seat belt, it can result in a court fine, demerit points, CVOR points, and impact your insurance costs. This is one of the reasons why it is important for your seat belt to always be securely fastened and worn properly. Don’t let not wearing a seat belt cause your driving record and insurance rates to suffer!
What Types of Failure To Wear A Seat Belt Charges Are There?
The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) deals with seat belt offences under Section 106. There are seven main areas of seat belt law:
|HTA Section||Offence Wording|
|106(1)||Drive With Seat Belt Inoperative|
|106(2)||Driver – Fail to Properly Wear Seat Belt|
|106(3)(a)||Passenger – Fail to Occupy Position with Seat Belt|
|106(3)(b)||Passenger – Fail to Properly Wear Seat Belt|
|106(4)(a)(i)||Drive While Passenger Under 16 Fails to Occupy Position with Seat Belt|
|106(4)(a)(ii)||Drive While Passenger Under 16 Fails to Properly Wear Seat Belt|
|106(4)(b)||Drive While Child Passenger Not Properly Secured|
How Am I Supposed to Legally Wear a Seat Belt?
The proper, legal use of a seat belt is defined under Section 106(5) Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act as follows:
A seat belt assembly shall be worn so that,
What Are the Penalties for a Seat Belt Ticket?
Generally, a conviction will result in three types of penalties: court penalties, license penalties, and insurance costs. When the court convicts a defendant and issues a fine, there are two components to that fine. The first is the fine prescribed by law for the specific offence, which in the case of seat belt tickets is a set fine of $200.00. On top of the set fine is a $5.00 court cost and the victim fine surcharge, which in these cases would be $35.00. This results in a total payable fine of $240.00:
|Set Fine||Court Cost||VFS||Total Fine|
In very exceptional cases, a seat belt conviction can exceed the $200.00 set fine and go up to a maximum of a $1,000.00 court fine, for a total payable fine of $1,250.00. For licensing penalties, regular drivers can face a demerit point penalty, and commercial motor vehicle drivers (such as transport truck drivers) can also face a CVOR penalty as follows:
|HTA Section||Demerit Points||CVOR POINTS|
It is important to note that even when an offence carries no demerit points, it will still show as a record of conviction on your driving record. Third parties, such as an employer or insurance company, will generally see convictions for three years from their conviction dates, even for charges with no demerit points. Oftentimes, the additional insurance costs of a conviction can quickly exceed the original fine issued by the court. Your insurance broker can help assist you in understanding the long-term costs due to an increase in your risk assessment and insurance rate.
Are There Any Exemptions to Wearing a Seat Belt in Ontario?
Yes. There are some exemptions to Ontario’s legal requirement to wear a seat belt. However, these exemptions may need to be carefully argued at trial if you have already been charged by the police.
Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to a person:
- Who is driving a motor vehicle in reverse
- Who holds a certificate signed by a legally qualified medical practitioner certifying that the person is: (a) for the period stated in the certificate, unable for medical reasons to wear a seat belt assembly, or (b) because of the person’s size, build or other physical characteristic, unable to wear a seat belt assembly
- Who is actually engaged in work which requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals, and the motor vehicle does not travel at a speed exceeding 40 km/h.
Subsection (4)(a) does not apply if the passenger holds a certificate signed by a legally qualified medical practitioner certifying that the passenger is:
- For the period stated in the certificate, unable for medical reasons to wear a seat belt assembly
- Because of the person’s size, build or other physical characteristic, unable to wear a seat belt assembly.
What Should I Do If I’m Charged By the Police For Failing To Wear a Seat Belt?
If you are charged by the police with a seat belt related offence, contact OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services as soon as possible. Our staff can assist you with a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to go through your case history and details with you. A few minutes on the phone with our team trained in defending Provincial Offences can help avoid or mitigate the consequences of an unnecessary conviction.