Why should I care ?
Traffic tickets are a serious issue, which directly affect your driver’s license, your cost for insurance and in some cases your ability to sustain a living.
Before you pay that traffic ticket, there are two things that you have to take into consideration:
- The impact that traffic ticket will have on your driver’s license (demerit points),
- And the impact the traffic ticket will have on your cost for insurance.
What is the impact that the Demerit Points will have on my driver’s license?
Ontario Demerit Points and New Drivers
As a Class G1, G2, M1 or M2 driver in Ontario, if you get two or more demerit points as a result of receiving a traffic ticket in Ontario, you will be sent a warning letter. At six points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your record. If you don’t attend, your license may be suspended. At nine points, your license will be suspended for 60 days. After the suspension, the number of points on your record will be reduced to four. Any additional points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach nine points again, your license can be suspended for six months.
Ontario Demerit Points and Fully Licensed Drivers
As a fully licensed driver in Ontario and if you get six demerit points as a result of traffic tickets, you will be notified about your driving record.
At nine points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your record and give reasons why your license should not be suspended. You may also have to complete a driver re-examination (vision, knowledge and road tests). If you fail, your license will be cancelled.
If you fail to attend an interview, or fail to give good reasons for keeping your license, your license may be suspended.
At 15 or more points, your license will be suspended for 30 days from the date you surrender it to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for the first suspension. You can lose your license for up to two years if you fail to surrender your license.
What is the impact the traffic ticket will have on my cost for insurance?
Insurance companies can penalize your rates for a minimum of 3 years for any offence. This can obviously be very costly, boosting your rates from $750-$1,000/year to $5,000-$6,000/year for only one conviction of careless driving.
Driving convictions will affect your rating in several ways depending on the number and type of convictions. Convictions fall into one of 3 categories: minor, major and serious. To be eligible for preferred rating plans, such as "six star", you must have a clear record or no more than one or two minor driving convictions (requirements vary by insurance company). Additional convictions usually result in loss of the preferred status and the discounted premiums.
So, in addition to the fine you pay and the demerit points you accumulate, your insurance costs will also increase.
Furthermore, insurance companies may also levy a premium surcharge if a driver has several minor driving offences or one of the more serious offences under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Highway Traffic Act. Surcharges vary by company.