Demerit Points on Driving Records
Demerit points affect both your insurance rates and can impact on your privilege of holding a driving licence.
When you begin to drive a vehicle you begin with no demerit points. Demerit points are accumulated after convictions for a number of highway traffic offences. These demerit points stay on your driving record for a period of two years from the date of the offence. If you have a number of convictions which incur demerit points you can lose your driver’s licence.
A new driver with a class G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence will be sent a warning letter if he or she incurs two or more demerit points. If six points are accumulated, he or she may have to attend an interview with a representative from the Ministry of Transportation to give reasons why their driver’s licence should not be suspended. If nine demerit points are accumulated, the driver will be suspended for a period of sixty days from the date the licence is surrendered.
A fully licenced driver who accumulates six demerit points will be sent a warning letter. If nine points are accumulated, an interview may be required. At fifteen or more points, his or her licence will be suspended for thirty days.
After a suspension, the Ministry of Transportation may require the individual to take the driver examination exam again
You get two demerit points for offences such as failing to signal, failing to share the road and improper turns. You get three demerit points for offences such as failing to yield the right of way, improper passing and exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 kilometres/hour. Four points are imposed for offences such as following too closely and exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 kilometres/hour. Six points are imposed for offences such as careless driving, failing to stop for a school bus and exceeding the speed limit by 50 kilometres or more per hour.
Of course, in addition to the demerit points, the individual charged with an offence will have to pay a fine. An individual charged with an offence by a police officer will receive either a ticket with an amount of the fine stated on the face of the ticket, or a summons to appear in provincial offences court.
If a ticket is given, the person has fifteen days to provide the ticket to the provincial offences office and to mark on the ticket whether they intend to admit the charge or to take the matter to trial. If a summons is given, the person must attend court on the date specified and will have an opportunity to find out the fine payable and to decide whether to admit the charge or to take the matter to trial.
Some provincial offences have extremely serious consequences including very large fines and/or jail. It is therefore wise to speak to a lawyer to ascertain your rights and options before dealing with serious offences in court.