Road trip, anyone? Pack the kids and see Canada because right now flights and Disney are too expensive? Maybe you are a young driver who sees the Trans Canada Highway as a gateway to anywhere but here? SLOW DOWN! A speeding ticket is very expensive in some Canadian provinces.
Depending on where you live in Canada and how fast you were going, you could face a hefty fine, and possible demerit points added to your driving record. And if you’re charged with excessive speeding, you can lose your licence and your car.
Read on to find out how much speeding tickets cost, how to pay them, and what you can do if you need financial help covering these fines.
What Is A Speeding Ticket In Canada?
A speeding ticket is a traffic violation notice issued by law enforcement to motorists who are caught breaking traffic laws, including driving over the speed limit.
Highways in Canada, like Highway 401, have a posted speed limit between 60 km/h and 100 km/h. You are in trouble if you go below 60 km/h too! Low speed is also a problem, but we digress.
In cities, where there are a lot more pedestrians, traffic lights, and property, the speeding limit changes. Some municipalities have a 30 km/h limit in areas, while others can be 50 km/h.
Speeding tickets typically come with a monetary fine, but they can also include demerit points and more serious consequences, such as loss of licence and even jail time. The consequences depend on the seriousness of the offence.
Which Places Have The Most Expensive Traffic Tickets In Canada?
Speeding tickets can be very expensive, depending on where you were caught speeding and how far over the speed limit you were driving. Some provinces tend to have higher traffic ticket costs than others.
Let’s get something straight. Ontario knows its drivers like to speed. In fact, the Ontario government increased the speed limit to 110 km/h in sections of provincial highways like the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from Hamilton to St. Catharines, and Highway 402 from London to Sarnia.
Still, speeding is illegal. Ontario speeding ticket fines are very high compared to other provinces. Currently, the fine amounts for speeding on Ontario roads range from $40 to $359 for speeds less than 50 km/h over the speed limit. But for speeds over 50 km/h above the limit, the fine can be as high as $1,000 and up to 6 demerit points.
Currently, the per km/h fines in Ontario are as follows:
- 0 – 20 km/h over the speed limit: $3.00 per km/h
- 20 – 30 km/h over the speed limit: $4.50 per km/h
- 30 – 50 km/h over the speed limit: $7.00 per km/h
- 50+ km/h over the speed limit: $9.75 per km/h
Speeding tickets over 15 km/h have demerit points
If you’re pulled over for distracted driving, the costs are much higher. A first-time distracted driving offence in the province comes with a fine of $615 to $1,000, 3 demerit points, and a 3-day licence suspension. A second-time offence carries a fine as high as $2,000, 6 demerit points, and a 7-day licence suspension.
Ontario police can seize your car if you do stunt driving or speed racing.
Traffic fines are also quite high in BC. Depending on how much you were speeding, you could face fines ranging from $138 to $483, plus 3 penalty points. Excessive speeding tickets can be even higher both in cost and points.
Fines for distracted driving are even more expensive and can range from $368 to $2,000, plus penalty points and possible licence suspension.
Can the police impound your car if you speed in British Columbia. Yes, they can in special circumstances. In fact, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) impounded a motorcycle for going double the speed limit.
Quebec’s speeding ticket fines are also some of the highest in the country. Fines range depending on the posted speed limit and how far over that limit you are caught driving:
- Zones with a posted speed limit of 60 km/h or less: Up to $155
- Excessive speeding in these areas: $350 – $1,950
- Zones with a posted speed limit of over 60 km/h and less than 90 km/h: Up to $240
- Excessive speeding in these areas: $530 – $2,925
- Zones with a posted speed limit of 100 km/h or more: Up to $290
- Excessive speeding in these areas: $630 – $2,925
In addition, drivers can have their licences suspended or face imprisonment. The police can impound your car if you street race. You need to consult the Highway Safety Code.
How To Pay For A Speeding Ticket In Canada?
If you’re issued a speeding ticket, you’ll need to either pay it in full by the due date specified or take steps to arrange for a court appearance. Either way, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps in a timely manner to avoid any further penalties.
To pay for a speeding ticket, follow these steps:
Read the Ticket
Carefully review the ticket to make sure you understand all terms, including the specific offence, the fine amount, and the payment due date. You should also read over the alternatives to pleading guilty and paying the fine, including contesting the ticket.
Decide Whether Or Not To Fight The Ticket
If you think you were fined in error and don’t believe you are guilty of an offence, you may choose to contest the ticket instead of paying it. If you choose this route, you’ll need to request a trial.
You’ll be given a court date when you can state your case. You can either choose to represent yourself, or hire a lawyer or other expert to represent you.
Otherwise, if you want to pay the fine, you can proceed with payment. Just make sure to pay by the due date to avoid further penalty charges.
Select a Payment Method
There are various ways to pay a traffic ticket, including in person, by mail, or online. Your options depend on where you live in Canada.
Paying online is the simplest and quickest way to pay, but usually requires a credit or debit card. If you prefer to pay by cheque, money order, or cash, you’ll need to pay in person or by mail.
Pay Your Fine
Once you’ve decided how to pay your ticket, follow the instructions on the ticket to pay the fine. Make sure you understand the fine amount and due date so you’re not late with your payment. Further, be sure to include all required information, including your name, the ticket number, and the violation date.
A speeding ticket can turn into a bigger debt over time. Unpaid speeding tickets in Toronto can lead to the city contacting your employer. The city can garnish your wages until the debt is paid. In Mississauga, your unpaid fine is sent to collections after 45 days. The city can add fees to the ticket and all of this can affect your credit score.
If you want to know how to check your free credit score, visit Compare Hub from Loans Canada.
To ensure there are no issues with your payment, consider following up with the platform you made your payment with.
Again, a late payment could mean additional penalties, so you want to make sure your payment is processed on time. For this reason, you should keep a record of your fine payment to prove you paid it according to the terms of the ticket.
Can You Use A Personal Loan To Pay A Speeding Ticket In Canada?
Depending on the severity of your fine, you could be left with a major financial burden on your hands. Some violations can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. If you don’t have the funds available to pay that fine, you could risk additional repercussions.
To avoid this situation, consider taking out a personal loan if you can’t afford to pay the fine out-of-pocket.
You can use the borrowed funds to pay the fine in full and on time to satisfy your obligations. Then, you can take your time repaying the personal loan by spreading out your installment payments over a few months or years.
These smaller payments are much easier to manage compared to a lump sum fine that needs to be paid within days. Just keep in mind that you’ll be charged interest for borrowing the money. The exact interest rate you have to pay will depend on your credit and financial profile.
If you have good credit score and a strong credit history, you may be able to secure a low rate. But if your credit score is low and your income is unreliable, you could wind up with an expensive personal loan. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of taking out a loan to pay for your speeding ticket.
Final Thoughts About Speeding Tickets
A speeding ticket is not only expensive, but it can even put you in a financial predicament if you don’t have the funds readily available to pay it on time. Failing to make a timely payment could cost you even more than the face value of the ticket.
If you can’t afford to pay your ticket, consider a personal loan to avoid the additional charges that may come with an unpaid speeding ticket.