Sunday, April 5, 2015

How Demerit Point System Works in Ontario

First and for most you must understand that driving in Ontario is not a right but a privilege, and unlike other point accumulation loyalty programs, when it comes to demerit points, you do NOT want to get any points!
It had been said by many people, including some misinformed news reports, that you when you get traffic ticket that you “lose demerit points.” It should be very clear that you do not “lose demerit points” when you get traffic ticket, but rather you gain points only upon conviction of your traffic offence. You always start with zero points and then accumulate them based on the type of the traffic ticket conviction. There is a chart that describes which offences under the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario have demerit points associated with them
Demerit points will get added to your driver’s licence record also known as the abstract, after you are found guilty for breaking certain driving rules and laws, or by paying the fine of a traffic ticket offence that carries demerit points.  
According to the regulations under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, demerit points added on your abstract will stay for two years from the date of the offence. Unlike most other loyalty reward programs where you want to collect points,  If you collect enough demerit  points on your driver’s record, you will lose your driver’s licence for a prescribed period of time. This will also have severe consequences n the insurance premium or sometimes not being to get car insurance coverage as the result of multiple traffic ticket convictions.
The negative impacts or penalties for gaining too many demerit points in short amount of time depend on how many points have been added on your record.
Our intention through this blog on traffic ticket information is to make more familiar with the facts and myths abouthow demerit point system works in Ontario.
As a holder of an Ontario driver’s licence you will get demerit points on your Ontario’s driver after you are found guilty of driving related offence not only in Ontario but also in any other province in Canada. In addition to that, if you also get a traffic ticket in the States of New York and Michigan, based on a mutual agreement with those Stares and the Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, you will get demerit points for those out-of-province traffic ticket convictions.
The number of demerit points that get added to your record depends on the type of the traffic ticket offences.
If you are a driver who has a full licence and have never gotten any points on your record, you will get a warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation when you get between 2-8 demerit points. This same procedure applies if you are a holder of other types of licences such as G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L driver’s licences. (For G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L driver’s licences 2 - 6 points)  
If you accumulate between 9-14 points your driver’s licence will be suspended for a period of time. (For G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L driver’s licences 6 - 8 points)  You will be receiving a letter from the Ministry regarding you licence suspension. This letter usually requires you to attend an interview with a designated person to explain your driving habits and as to why your licence should not be suspended. Failure to attend that interview will be an automatic suspension of your driver’s licence.
If you accumulate 15 or more demerit points within the specific period of time your driver’s licence will be automatically suspended for 30 days. (For G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L driver’s licences 9 or more points, for 60 days) This is important to know that upon a notice of suspension by the ministry which gets delivered to you by registered mail and/or upon such notice by the court, you MUST surrender your driver’s licence to the Ministry. (In Ontario you can take it to any one the Service Ontario offices) If you fail to do that, you will lose your licence for up to two years.
If you want to know if “talking on a cell phone has any demerit points” the answer is:
Talking, texting or using a handheld device type of traffic tickets does not have demerit points.
Below is a chart that explains which traffic ticket offences carry how many points:
7 Demerit Points for:
  • Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
  • Failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer
6 Demerit Points for:
  • Careless driving
  • Racing
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more
  • Failing to stop for a school bus
5 Demerit Points for:
Failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (for bus drivers only)
4 Demerit Points for:
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour
  • Following too closely
3 Demerit Points for:
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/hour
  • Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
  • Driving the wrong way on a divided road
  • Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal
  • Failing to obey the directions of a police officer
  • Failing to report a collision to a police officer
  • Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
  • Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
  • Improper passing
  • Improper driving when road is divided into lanes
  • Improper use of a high occupancy vehicle lane
  • Going the wrong way on a one-way road
  • Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
  • Crowding the driver's seat.
2 Demerit Points for:
  • Improper right turn
  • Improper left turn
  • Improper opening of a vehicle door
  • Prohibited turns
  • Towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis
  • Unnecessary slow driving
  • Backing on highway
  • Failing to lower headlamp beams
  • Failing to obey signs
  • Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing      
  • Failing to share the road
  • Failing to signal
  • Driver failing to wear a seat belt
  • Driver failing to ensure infant/child passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat
  • Driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured
  • Driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 years is wearing a seat belt

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