Can You Fight A Seatbelt Ticket In Ontario? 

A common misconception among Ontario drivers is that seatbelt tickets cannot be fought. However, legal defences exist and if correctly leveraged, depending on the specifics of your case, can be successful.


Understanding the Law

Found in Section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act, a failure to wear seatbelt conviction can result in 2 demerit points and a $240 fine. 


The Case of the Delivery Driver

Consider the case of a delivery driver moving at low speeds over short distances, a scenario where the driver was observed without a seatbelt. Given the specific circumstances, particularly that the driver was still operating their vehicle safely – there is still a strong defence. The driver’s actions, while technically in violation of the law, did not compromise safety.


Potential Defences

Fighting a seatbelt ticket in Ontario hinges on the details of the incident. Defences can vary widely, from defective seat belts to instances where a driver forgets to buckle up but operates the vehicle safely. 

Key considerations:

  • Defective Equipment: A seatbelt that is not functioning correctly may absolve a driver, provided they can prove the defect was not known before driving.
  • Short Distances at Low Speeds: Similar to the delivery driver example, demonstrating that the driving behaviour did not endanger anyone could form the basis of a defence.
  • Professional Drivers: For commercial or professional drivers, the stakes are higher. A seatbelt violation can impact business operations, employment and insurance rates.


Legal Advice with OTD Legal

At OTD Legal, we deeply understand traffic law and have a track record of assisting drivers with a variety of offences, including seatbelt tickets. Contact us for a free consultation if you’re facing a seatbelt violation.


Video Transcription:

I’ve had a case where a defendant was charged with a seatbelt violation, in this particular case, this gentleman was moving from point to point at relatively low speeds. He was a delivery driver and had a route and travelling short distances at low speeds, delivering multiple different items at multiple locations. That particular behavior was observed by a police officer and that police officer noted that this defendant was not wearing a seatbelt. It’s important to know what the facts are of the case and how it related to the law. In this particular example, the speeds were relatively low, well under 40 km/h and the distances were also relatively short and everything that driver was doing was particularly safe. 

So, that creates a defence, and frankly a very successful defence for that particular gentlemen. It begs the question, can you fight a seatbelt ticket in Ontario? The answer is obviously, yes. 

The section itself can be found under section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act, the penalty upon conviction would be 2 demerit points and a $240 fine. Further to whether or not that can be fought or not – yes the answer is there are many defences that are available. It can range from anything from a defective seatbelt it could range from someone forgetting but not moving very far at low speeds, forgetting to put that seatbelt on. There are many things that can be done in terms of defences for a person in that position. 

It is particularly important when these types of offences occur that they be managed correctly. If you were in fact a professional driver, yeah it’s something we want to take care of and you would want to get some help on something like that. But in fact looking across any G driver with a ticket like that, that is considered to be an offence of 2 points that affects your insurance rates.

So the answer to remind you, is yes, there can be something done if you are charged with a seatbelt ticket violation.  

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