Ontario Speeding Ticket Penalties
Before you pay your speeding ticket fine, be sure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Paying a fine on your speeding ticket is an automatic plea of guilt to the speeding offence. This means that the speeding conviction will immediately be registered on your driving record and any demerit points associated with the speeding ticket will also be registered against your licence. Speeding tickets over 15 km/hr carry anywhere from 3 – 6 demerit points. If you accumulate enough demerit points, the Ministry of Transportation may call you in for an interview and could suspend your licence!
Not only do speeding tickets carry fines and demerit points, the speeding convictions can also increase your insurance rates dramatically. Some people may wonder why they would want to pay a professional to fight their speeding ticket for more than the fine amount listed on the ticket. The reason is that the increases in your insurance due to the speeding charge could cost you thousands over the three years the speeding ticket will be on your record.
Speeding Ticket Demerit Points
Most Ontario speeding tickets have demerit points associated with them. The officer does not decide or assign an amount of points to you, but charges you with a km/hr rate over the limit. This rate is connected with a specific amount of demerit points decided by the Ministry of Transportation. An outline of speeding ticket demerit points is below:
0 – 15 km/hr over = 0 points (minor infraction)
16 – 29km/hr over = 3 points (minor infraction)
30 – 49 km/hr over = 4 points (major infraction)
50+ km/hr over = 6 points + 30 day license
50+km/hr over (Stunt Driving/Speed Racing) = 6 points + immediate 7 day licence suspension and car impoundment + up to 2 year additional licence suspension upon conviction.
Demerit Points are established by the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario. You start out with 0 demerit points on your record and accumulate them when convicted of speeding offences that hold demerit points.
Speeding Ticket Demerit Points and New Drivers:
If you are a Class G1, G2, M1 or M2 driver, once you accumulate a minimum of 2 or more demerit points on your record, you will be sent a warning letter in the mail. Once you receive 6 demerit points, an interview will be set for you to go into the Ministry of Transportation to discuss your driving record and to offer reasons why they should not suspend your licence. If you do not attend this interview, your licence will likely be suspended. If you accumulate 9 demerit points, your licence WILL be suspended for 60 days from the time that you surrender your licence to the Ministry of Transportation. If you fail to surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to 2 years. After the suspension period, the number of points on your record will be reduced to 4. Any additional points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach 9 points again, your licence can be suspended for 6 months from the date you surrender it to the Ministry of Transportation.
Speeding Ticket Demerit Points and Fully Licenced Drivers:
If you are a fully licenced driver and you accumulate 6 demerit points on your record, you will be sent a warning letter in the mail. If you accumulate 9 points, an interview will be set for you to go into the Ministry of Transportation to discuss your driving record and to offer reasons why they should not suspend your licence. If you do not attend this interview, your licence will likely be suspended. If you accumulate 15 demerit points, your licence WILL be suspended for 30 days from the time that you surrender your licence to the Ministry of Transportation. If you fail to surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to 2 years. After the suspension you may be required to complete a driver re-examination (vision, knowledge and road tests), the number of points on your record will be reduced to 7. Any extra points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach 15 points again, your licence will be suspended for 6 months.
0 Demerit Point Speeding Tickets
Even if a speeding ticket does not carry any demerit points, paying the speeding ticket is still pleading guilty to the offence and a speeding conviction will still be registered on your record. The only way to avoid a speeding ticket on your record is to fight the speeding ticket in court for a chance to have the ticket reduced or eliminated. If you have received a speeding ticket for 0 – 15 km/hr over the speed limit, that is a 0 point ticket and was likely reduced from a higher speed at the scene by the police officer. This makes the speeding ticket more difficult to fight in court as the officer did give you “a break” at the scene with the reduction, but there is still a chance that there could be fatal errors, technicalities or extra motions that can be filed to help get the 0 point speeding ticket reduced further or eliminated completely. Without the expert eye of a professional, you may not know exactly what to look for to help give you the best defence for your speeding ticket case.
Fine Amounts for Speeding Tickets
More serious traffic tickets carry hefty fines associated with them that may not be listed on the ticket. If you received a Summons to Defendant, the fine amount will not be listed and you will have to go into the court to plead guilty or not. If you plead guilty to one of these offences you could be facing fines from $500 up to $10,000!
Speeding ticket fines are based on km/hr over the posted speeding limit. The chart below outlines the speeding fines for different speeds over the posted limit. Please note that every ticket in Ontario will have a Victim Surcharge added to the Set Fine which goes toward helping the victims of violent crimes. This is why there are two amounts listed on every offence notice.
1-19 km/h The amount of km over times $2.50 = fine
20-29 km/h The amount of km over times $3.75 = fine
30-49 km/h The amount of km over times $6.00 = fine
50 km/h+ (speeding) The amount over times $9.75 times $1.25 = fine
50+km/hr (Stunt Driving / Racing) fine amount can range from $2,000 - $10,000
Other Speeding Ticket Penalties
Insurance companies do not look at the amount of demerit points on your record, but at the type and amount of convictions on your record. Most insurance companies will forgive one or two minor speeding infractions on your record, but will raise your rates for multiple speeding tickets and major infractions. This means that if you receive your very first ticket, which happens to be for speeding at 30km/hr over the limit and you just pay the fine, your insurance can raise dramatically for the three years that this ticket is on your record. 30 km/hr over the limit will likely be considered a major infraction by your insurance company, where even 1 km less (29 km/hr) over the limit would likely have no effect on your insurance at all! The only possible way to have this ticket reduced (or even eliminated) is to allow professionals lik TTSLF fight this speeding ticket in court.
Not only will insurance companies raise their rates for single major speeding infractions on your record, but they will also hike up your rates for multiple traffic tickets received. If you receive a very minor speeding ticket for 10km/hr over the limit and also received tickets for not having your insurance card on hand or having an improper sticker on your licence plate, you may think that just paying the ticket is the best idea since they are all minor with no demerit points. The problem here is that by paying the fines, you are pleading guilty to the offences and you will receive three convictions on your driving record. Many insurance companies may triple their rates with this many convictions on your record and some insurance companies will stop insuring you altogether!
Licence Suspensions and Jail Time:
Many serious speeding traffic tickets will also carry licence suspensions once you are convicted and even possible jail time. Before you admit guilt to any speeding ticket, find out what the exact penalties are for your offence so that you can make an educated decision on how you want to proceed.
Legal Errors and Officer Mistakes:
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) is very detailed and since only a small portion of an officer’s training is focused on the HTA, it can be easily misinterpreted by them. Police officers are sometimes wrong, so if you pay the fine on a speeding traffic ticket, you may be pleading guilty to an offence you did not even commit. Also, there are a number of fatal errors that an officer could make on the face of the speeding ticket or legal errors in the evidence against you that could help have the speeding ticket eliminated. Having a professional examine your case and analyze the officer’s disclosure is the best way to find any errors in law or anything that can help get you the best possible result for your speeding case.