General News

Drive with care: avoid costly mistakes on the road

January 12, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Every week, someone in the region is charged with exceeding the speed limit enough to receive a roadside license suspension and have their car impounded.

Driving is a privilege which should be taken seriously. The consequences of too much speed, impairment, or distraction, can be fatal.

As of May 2022, the Ontario Provincial Police reported the province already had more than 100 fatal collisions – a high not seen in a decade.

If you value having a driver’s license, you should drive according to the rules of the road to keep your license in good standing. Having demerit points due to infractions can not only affect your insurance rates, but you could also end up losing your driving privileges in extreme cases.

Contrary to common belief, you don’t ‘lose’ demerit points on your driving record if you have an infraction – you start with zero points and gain points for being convicted of breaking certain traffic laws.

Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence. If you collect enough points, you can lose your driver’s license. You can also get demerit points on your Ontario driver’s license when you violate driving laws in other Canadian provinces and territories, the State of New York and the State of Michigan.

The number of points added to your driving record depends on the offence.

Seven points will be added if you are convicted of failing to remain at the scene of a collision or failing to stop when signalled or asked by a police officer.

Six points are added for the infractions of careless driving, racing, exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more on roads with a speed limit of less than 80 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h, or failing to stop for a school bus.

You will gain four demerit points if convicted for exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h, following too closely, or failing to stop at a pedestrian crossover.

For lesser offences, you can receive two or three demerit points, such as running a red light or failure to obey a stop sign.

The consequences for gaining demerit points depends on how many you have added to your driving record.

As a driver with a full license, six to eight points will result in a warning letter. Nine to 14 points will result in a second warning letter encouraging you to improve your driving behaviour.

If you manage to get 15 points, your license will be suspended for 30 days.

If you are a novice or new driver, nine demerit points will result in your license being suspended for 60 days.

Driving is a privilege that should be taken seriously.

Avoid the consequences of bad driving by adhering to the rules of the road and always driving your vehicle in a safe manner.

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