by Amy Nutt

In Ontario, careless driving laws involve strict and serious enforcement. Although a common offence, careless driving infractions can have serious consequences if a driver is convicted of a particular offence. It is important to be aware of the ramifications if you are convicted of a careless driving violation.

Careless Driving as outlined in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) states:

“130. Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her license or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 130.”

Penalties in Ontario can include “6 Demerit Points, fine not less than $200 and not more than $1000, imprisonment for a period of not more than 6 months. The Drivers license may also be suspended for a period of up to 2 years.” If a driver accrues 15 demerit points, the drivers license will be suspended.

The types of careless driving charges that a driver can receive are careless driving without a fine and careless driving with a fine.

1. Careless Driving with a fine printed on the ticket will result in 6 demerit points applied to a drivers license and a minimum fine of $325. If you receive this fine, you have the option to plead guilty, plead guilty with a reason, or plead not guilty. Six demerit points will be applied to a drivers record when pleading guilty. This will result in an increase in auto insurance premiums. One could end up paying hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars a year because the insurance company will consider them a high risk driver. The company may also cancel the drivers insurance policy, even if a driver has just one careless driving offence. Insurance companies have access to your driving record for the past three years, as well as the past six years for claims.

2. A Careless driving ticket without a fine attached is a summons to go to court to answer to the charges. Convictions can result in fines of up to $1000.00, jail time of up to 6 months, or a suspension of a drivers license of up to two years.

It is a serious matter when one is convicted of a careless driving offence. It can raise your insurance costs, result in a drivers license suspension, and even result in jail time. It is important to be aware of the consequences before you drive. If you do receive a careless driving ticket, you should consult with criminal lawyer Toronto so that you will know what your best options are to resolve the problem. A professional such as an attorney will be able to let you know if you should fight the charge. To avoid dealing with a careless driving charge, practice safe and careful driving techniques.

Careless driving is one of the most serious charges under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. Make sure you take great care when you are on the road.

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