Speeding Ticket in Ontario and Insurance
With more than 8 million licensed drivers in Ontario alone, car travel is at an all-time high. Because of this, we see more and more traffic infractions every year. One of the most common types of infractions is speeding.
When caught, speeding often results in a ticket. These generally have a financial penalty, as well as repercussions on your driver’s license, and your insurance rate. These penalties aren’t always obvious, especially when it pertains to your insurance rate.
Today we’re going to explain the laws surrounding speeding in Ontario, how does a speeding ticket affect your insurance in Ontario, and how long tickets can affect your insurance in Ontario.
Types of Tickets
Firstly, we have to talk about the types of speeding tickets. In general, there will be a difference between the different types of speeding tickets. If you’re traveling higher than the speed limit, you’ll likely face a larger financial penalty and a larger increase in your insurance rate.
Section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act outlines the penalty you’ll pay if you’re found guilty of speeding.
Essentially, if you’re traveling less than 20 kilometers per hour above the speed limit, you’ll pay $3 for each km/h over the speed limit you’re driving. Between 20-30 km/h over, that rate jumps to $4.50. Between 30-50? Expect to pay $7 per km/h. If you’re driving more than 50 km/h above the speed limit, you’ll pay $9.75 per km/h.
Also, if you’re caught speeding at a rate >50km/h over the speed limit, you face having your license suspended. The first time your license is suspended for speeding, it will likely be for 30 days. If it happens again, you’re probably looking at a 60-day suspension.
If you get caught more than twice speeding more than 50km/h over the speed limit, you could be looking at a one-year suspension of your license.
The point here is that Ontario takes speeding seriously. With as many police officers and speed cameras as there are in Ontario, it’s more likely a question of when speeders will be caught, than a question of if they will be caught. Even minor tickets will affect your insurance rate in Ontario.
How a Speeding Ticket Affects your Insurance Rate in Ontario
Speeding tickets (especially issued in the wake of an accident) also carry the penalty of an increased insurance rate. This calculation isn’t as cut and dry as the one laid out in the Highway Traffic Act, but it does still affect you financially. Essentially, when you pay your ticket, the ticket goes into your driving record.
Later, when you go to renew your automobile insurance, you’ll likely face a rate increase. The cost will depend on many factors, including but not limited to previous driving convictions, age, and the severity of tickets.
Again, the big takeaway is that being caught speeding can affect your driving history in a serious way. Insurance companies know that they will be more likely to pay out a speeder over time, and will therefore increase your rate to compensate for the liability you represent.
Your driver’s record is exactly what it sounds like, a record of all the serious events you’ve been involved in while driving. Speeding tickets, collisions, and other infractions will all be tracked in your driver’s record.
Your record lasts for 3 years in Ontario. In practical terms that means that any traffic tickets you receive will continue to influence your insurance rate for up to 3 years. This is one of the hidden costs of speeding tickets, as this 3-year cost may actually end up costing you more than the initial financial penalty of the ticket itself.
One other element we should consider is demerit points. They’re different than your driver’s record but no less important.
Demerit points are a government tool to encourage driver’s not to break the traffic conventions. Repeat offenders face serious penalties. When you are caught speeding, you’ll face demerit points based on how fast you were going. Basically, demerit points represent traffic infractions and stay on your license for 2 years.
You could get 3-6 demerit points just from speeding. If this happens, you’ll receive a warning letter. If you happen to accrue 15+ demerit points in a 2-year period, your license will be suspended. These limits are even lower for new drivers, who could face suspension if they receive 9 or more points.
Frequently Asked Speeding Insurance Questions
How much does a speeding ticket increase in Ontario?
This question is at the heart of what we’re trying to explain in this article. The simple answer is that there isn’t a catch-all formula. Your rates will be determined by your insurer. It could be a small change or no change at all if it’s a small infraction. The best assumption to make is that there will be some increase, with more serious speeding infractions bringing more serious increases.
Do speed cameras affect insurance?
No. Speeding cameras can only prove that the vehicle in question is traveling at a rate of speed higher than the speed limit. Since they cannot prove who the driver was, whoever holds the ownership of the vehicle will be sent a ticket instead. These tickets still cost the financial penalty upfront, but they have no effect on your driving insurance.
Is it worth it to fight a speeding ticket in Ontario?
This is another challenging question to give a simple answer to. There are so many factors involved in a speeding ticket, that each one has a unique situation. In general terms, you can contest a ticket, and should strongly consider it if you believe the ticket was wrongfully issued. There are many lawyers and paralegal companies willing to represent you for speeding tickets, and when one considers the overall insurance rate increase, it’s possible that you could save money doing so in the long run.
How long do tickets affect insurance in Ontario?
Generally, tickets will affect your insurance rate for 3 years. This is consistent with your driving record lasting 3 years. Bear in mind that this number will change if you get another speeding ticket during that 3 year period.
We hope that you have a better understanding of speeding tickets in Ontario, and their effect on your insurance. Remember that speeding is a crime in Ontario with serious penalties. Even a minor speeding ticket can affect your insurance in Ontario.