What Happens When You Have A Bad Driving Record In Ontario
Having a bad driving record in Ontario can have several consequences, including:
- Higher insurance premiums: Insurance companies consider drivers with a bad driving record to be a higher risk, which means they may charge them higher premiums for car insurance.
- License suspension: If you accumulate too many demerit points on your driving record, your license may be suspended. The number of demerit points required for suspension varies depending on the severity of the offenses.
- Fines: If you receive a traffic ticket, you may have to pay a fine. The amount of the fine will depend on the offense.
- Increased insurance deductibles: Insurance companies may require drivers with a bad driving record to pay a higher deductible in the event of an accident.
- Difficulty getting insurance: If you have a particularly bad driving record, some insurance companies may refuse to provide you with coverage.
- Legal consequences: In some cases, bad driving behavior can result in legal consequences such as fines, license suspension or even imprisonment.
It’s important to remember that the consequences of a bad driving record can vary depending on the severity of the offenses and the number of demerit points accumulated. It’s always best to practice safe driving habits and follow the rules of the road to avoid these consequences.
How Does The Demerit Point System Work In Ontario
In Ontario, the demerit point system is used to track and penalize drivers for traffic violations. Here’s how it works:
- Demerit points are assigned for various driving offenses, such as speeding, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The number of demerit points assigned to each offense varies depending on the severity of the violation.
- Demerit points are added to your driving record when you are convicted of a traffic offense. The points stay on your record for two years from the date of the offense.
- If you accumulate too many demerit points, your license may be suspended. The number of points required for suspension varies depending on the type of license you have:
- G1 and G2 drivers (new drivers): 6 points
- Full G license: 15 points
- Demerit points can also affect your insurance rates. Insurance companies consider drivers with a higher number of demerit points to be a higher risk, which can result in higher premiums.
- You can have demerit points removed from your driving record by completing an approved driver retraining program. However, this will only remove up to 3 demerit points.
It’s important to remember that driving safely and following the rules of the road can help you avoid accumulating demerit points and potentially losing your license.
Breakdown Of Demerit Points
Here’s a breakdown of the demerit points assigned to various driving offenses in Ontario:
- Speeding 16-29 km/h over the limit: 3 points
- Speeding 30-49 km/h over the limit: 4 points
- Speeding 50 km/h or more over the limit: 6 points
- Failing to stop for a school bus: 6 points
- Failing to remain at the scene of an accident: 7 points
- Careless driving: 6 points
- Racing or stunt driving: 6 points
- Following too closely (tailgating): 4 points
- Failing to yield right of way: 3 points
- Disobeying a stop sign or traffic light: 3 points
- Improper passing: 3 points
- Making an unsafe lane change: 2 points
- Failing to wear a seatbelt: 2 points
- Driving with a handheld communication device: 3 points
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol: 3-6 points
It’s important to note that these are just some of the offenses that can result in demerit points being assigned. The number of points assigned may also vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offense.
How Does Your Auto Insurance Policy Change Due To Bad Driving Record
Having a bad driving record can have a significant impact on your auto insurance policy in Ontario. Here are some ways your policy may change:
- Higher premiums: Insurance companies consider drivers with a bad driving record to be a higher risk, which means they may charge them higher premiums for car insurance.
- Reduced coverage: Insurance companies may reduce the coverage options available to drivers with a bad driving record. For example, they may exclude certain types of coverage or reduce the limits of coverage.
- Increased deductibles: Insurance companies may require drivers with a bad driving record to pay a higher deductible in the event of an accident.
- Non-renewal or cancellation: Insurance companies may decide not to renew your policy or cancel it altogether if you have a particularly bad driving record.
- Difficulty finding coverage: If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, it may be more difficult for you to find an insurance company willing to provide you with coverage.
What Can You Do After A Bad Driving Record in Ontario
If you have a bad driving record in Ontario, there are several things you can do to improve your driving record and potentially reduce the impact on your insurance premiums:
- Practice safe driving habits: This may seem obvious, but practicing safe driving habits is the most effective way to avoid accumulating further demerit points and traffic violations. Follow the rules of the road, obey traffic signals, and avoid driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Attend a driver retraining program: Attending an approved driver retraining program can help you improve your driving skills and knowledge of the rules of the road. Completing such a program can also result in the removal of up to 3 demerit points from your driving record.
- Wait for demerit points to expire: Demerit points remain on your driving record for 2 years from the date of the offense. If you don’t accumulate any further points during this time, your driving record will gradually improve.
- Shop around for insurance: If your current insurance provider is charging you high premiums due to your bad driving record, it may be worth shopping around and getting quotes from other insurance companies. Some companies may be more willing to provide coverage to drivers with a bad driving record, and may offer lower rates.
- Consider reducing your coverage: If you can’t afford the premiums on your current policy, consider reducing your coverage to lower your premiums. However, it’s important to make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
Take time to improve your driving record and reduce the impact on your insurance premiums. Be patient and continue to practice safe driving habits, and over time your driving record will improve.