Being charged with a careless driving offence in Canada can be a daunting experience. To ensure you are prepared to Pay the traffic ticket or dispute it to defend yourself and minimize the impact on your driving record, it's important to understand the definition Careless Driving Charges, the Demerit Points, Fines, Insurance Impact, and consequences of this offence.
Definition of Careless Driving in Ontario
According to the Highway Traffic Act, under section 130(1) of the HTA:
“Any person who drives a vehicle on a highway without showing due care and attention or without considering the safety of other highway users is guilty of the offence of careless driving and driving carelessly.”
Careless driving causing bodily harm or death under section 130(3) of the HTA:
"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 who thereby causes bodily harm or death to any person."
Careless driving is a charge given by the police. Police officers believe a driver is not driving a motor vehicle with due care and attention, and has failed to drive safely. Although the definition is open to interpretation, sometimes multiple offences can be considered careless driving. include failing to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, running red lights or stop signs, excessive speeding, and accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists.
What are the Penalties for a Careless Driving Conviction?
The penalties for careless driving in Ontario are severe and can have a lasting impact on your life. If you plead guilty or pay your fine, a conviction will register.
If you're found guilty of careless driving under section 130(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, you may face severe consequences. These may include a fine from $400 to $2,000, a victim surcharge, six demerit points, a potential two-year license suspension, and even jail time for up to six months. Your insurance rates may also increase and you may be required to purchase coverage from a high-risk insurance provider.
Upon conviction under subsection 130(3), the consequences can be severe and include a fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, imprisonment for up to two years, 6 demerit points, and a driver's license suspension of up to five years.
Class G1 and Class G2 drivers who are convicted or pay a careless driving ticket are suspended for 30 days due to violation of demerit point limits for novice drivers.
Defending a Careless Driving Charge
If you have been charged with careless driving, it's important to understand disputing a traffic ticket can greatly improve your chances of successfully fighting a careless driving charge.
You can dispute your traffic ticket online using our filing form. Once you file a ticket online, the email confirmation we send will provide you with Ontarios Guide for Defendants in Provincial Offences Cases.
Working with a knowledgeable traffic ticket paralegal or lawyer can also significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome. An experienced paralegal or lawyer can provide you with guidance, support, and representation throughout the legal process, helping you build the strongest possible defense.
A traffic ticket lawyer or paralegal can also negotiate on your behalf to reduce charges or secure a more favorable plea deal, and represent you in court to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Our Team can put you in Touch with a local Independant representative for free by filling out our contact form.
Common defences used in careless driving cases include:
Proving that the driving was not careless
Challenging the validity of the witness statements
Claiming that the ticket was issued with an error
Questioning the legality of the evidence against you
Is Careless Driving a Criminal Offence?
Careless driving is not considered a criminal offence and will not result in a criminal record. However, you may face fines, licence suspension, and jail time, depending on the severity of the offence. Dangerous driving, on the other hand, is a criminal offence and will result in a criminal record.
Difference between Careless Driving and Dangerous Driving
Careless driving and dangerous driving may seem similar, but they are different charges. Careless driving is found in the Highway Traffic Act, a provincial statute, and is only applicable on roadways. Dangerous driving is found in the Criminal Code of Canada and results in a criminal conviction, with more severe penalties.
Types of Careless Driving Charges in Ontario
A careless driving charge in Ontario can apply to many situations, including with or without an accident, and causing death or injury. If the police believe there was malicious intent, you could face charges for criminal negligence or dangerous driving, with more severe penalties.
Preventing Careless Driving
To avoid being charged with careless driving, it is essential to prioritize safety on the road. This includes focusing on the road ahead, following traffic signals and signs, and being aware of other road users at all times.
It is also crucial to eliminate distractions while driving, such as using your phone, eating, or engaging in other activities that could divert your attention from the road. Additionally, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as these substances can greatly impair your driving abilities.
Impact on Insurance for Careless Driving
Receiving a careless driving ticket can have serious insurance and is considered one of the most serious tickets that affect insurance. It is highly recommended to consult with a legal representative if you have been charged with careless or dangerous driving.
In conclusion, if you are facing a careless driving offence in Canada, it's essential to understand the seriousness of the charge and the potential consequences. Our website assists you in Paying your ticket online or disputing your ticket online.