Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets are quasi-criminal provincial offences established under the Highway Traffic Act and are prosecuted in the Ontario Court of Justice.  Traffic tickets can raise the costs of your insurance, provide you with demerits points, you could be fined, or even face jail time.  As few as 9 demerit points for a fully licensed driver could result in a license suspension.  Novice drivers could have their license suspended or cancelled with as few as 6 demerit points.  Traffic tickets and other provincial offences are billed in block fees.


 

Speeding

Speeding is one of the most common offences tried in Ontario.  The rate of speed is governed by section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act.  Penalties for speeding vary depending on the rate of speed over the speed limit and whether the speeding took place in a zone where penalties are escalating.  A conviction for speeding can result in a fine and demerit points which could result in a license suspension or revocation.  A conviction will generally raise your insurance premiums.  Speeding is an absolute liability offence.

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Street Racing and Stunt Driving

Street racing/stunt driving is a serious offence.  First offences carry a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000.   Street racing/stunt driving charges can carry a jail sentence of up to 6 months and can result in a license suspension for 2 years for a first offence, and 10 years for a subsequent conviction.  Street racing/stunt driving is a strict liability offence.  What constitutes street racing or stunt driving is largely defined by Highway Traffic Act section 172, the regulations created thereunder, and relevant jurisprudence.  Speeding 50 KM/H or more over the speed limit is considered street racing/stunt driving.

 

Careless Driving

Careless driving is a serious charge under section 130 of the Highway Traffic Act.  Outlined in section 130 is also the offence of Careless Driving Causing Bodily Harm or Death.  The minimum fine for standard careless driving is a $400 fine, you can also be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 6 months and have your license suspended for not more than 2 years.  In the event that bodily harm or death was caused, the punishments are more severe.  Careless driving is a strict liability offence.  The elements of careless driving are established based on how much due care and attention is given while driving as opposed to the result of a lack of due care or attention.  Driving conditions and other situational conditions will change how much due care and attention is required on the road.

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