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How Many Demerits Can I Have?

If it’s been a while since you took your driver’s test, you may have forgotten all about Ontario’s Driver Demerit Point System.  It’s a special award system for each and every moving violation (and other violations) a driver commits.

Well, even good drivers sometimes run afoul of the law. One day, you made a left hand turn and didn’t see the sign that read: “no left hand turns.” Like a spider guarding a web, the officer just seemed ready to pounce. Then he handed you the ticket for $130 and 2 demerit points!

You just got your first bad driver points and they stay on your diving record for 2 years. Getting demerit points likely will affect your future auto insurance rates

To Help Drivers Correct or Modify their Driving Habits

The ministry of transportation needed a method of helping drivers see and understand their own driving mistakes. A fine does cause pain, but giving the government money isn’t enough. They still want to deter you from future transgressions. Most drivers are creatures of habit, so some disruption is necessary.

Many drivers tend not to take moving violations very seriously. And it seems unfair because a left hand turn isn’t dangerous really. Well, according to the local driving laws, it is.

The demerit point system is used widely. It’s sort of a remedial system in that it makes you more aware of your driving behaviour. And if you get too many points, they’ll take your license away.

If you get 2 or more demerit points, the Ontario government will mail you a warning letter. If you get 9 or more demerit points, you’ll earn yourself an interview with officials to explain your driving and why you shouldn’t lose your license. If you accumulate more than 14 points in a two year period, you will almost certainly lose your license.

The government is pursuing demerit points for distracted driving.

If you’re driving in other provinces, Michigan or New York and are convicted of an offense, you may receive demerits on your Ontario driver’s license. Demerits aren’t awarded via red light camera caught infractions.

A DUI conviction will result in you losing your license for a defined period. You may also be unable to travel to the US because of it.  A DUI conviction isn’t referred to in the demerit point system since it is a criminal matter handled in the criminal court system.

Ontario Driver Demerit Points

Here are the demerit points for driving offences, courtesy of the MTO driver’s handbook:

7 points

  • Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
  • Failing to stop for police

6 points

  • Careless driving
  • Racing
  • Exceeded the speed limit by 50 km/h or more
  • Failed to stop for a school bus

5 points

  • Driver of bus failed to stop at unprotected railway crossing

4 points

  • Exceeded the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h
  • Followed too closely

3 points

  • Exceeded the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h
  • Drove through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
  • Failed to yield the right-of-way
  • Failed to obey a stop sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal
  • Failed to obey traffic control stop sign
  • Failed to obey traffic control slow sign
  • Failed to obey school crossing stop sign
  • Failed to obey the directions of a police officer
  • Drove the wrong way on a divided road
  • Failed to report a collision to a police officer
  • Improper driving where road is divided into lanes
  • Crowded the driver’s seat
  • Drove the wrong way on a one-way road
  • Drove or operated a vehicle on a closed road
  • Crossed a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
  • Failed to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
  • Failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing
  • Failed to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
  • Drove a vehicle that is equipped with or carrying a speed measuring warning device (such as a radar detector)
  • Improperly used of an HOV lane

2 points

  • Failed to lower headlight beam
  • Improper opening of a vehicle door
  • Prohibited turns
  • Towing people – on toboggans, bicycles, skis, for example
  • Failed to obey signs
  • Failed to share the road
  • Improper right turn
  • Improper left turn
  • Failed to use turn signals
  • Unnecessary slow driving
  • Reversing the vehicle on a highway
  • Driver didn’t wear a seatbelt
  • Driver failed to ensure infant passenger is secured
  • Driver failed to ensure toddler passenger is secured
  • Driver failed to ensure child is secured
  • Driver failed to ensure passenger under 16 years is wearing seatbelt
  • Driver failed to ensure passenger under 16 years is occupying a position with a seatbelt

Your driving behaviour really does reflect your care for your own safety, your passengers, and other people on the roadways. The demerit system helps us to correct our driving behaviour and save us a lot of fines, misery, lost wages, and higher insurance rates.

Happy driving and it probably wouldn’t hurt to get an Ontario driver’s handbook and freshen up on safe, legal driving.

Are you wondering which new cars will raise your insurance rates? If it’s an issue, then check out vehicles that typically have the lowest insurance rates. It could save you hundreds.

If you don’t use your car very often, is usage based auto insurance the right choice for you?

Are you using separate insurance companies for all your insurance? Maybe now is the time to consolidate your home, life and auto insurance.

Accident statistics for teen drivers are still not ideal, so it is up to you to manage your teen’s driving habits to ensure they can still get insurance coverage.  Rather than getting a quote from some online insurance site, it is far better to speak with a licensed insurance person so you understand what your coverage is and how you can get the best rates.

One thought on “Ontario Demerit Points and How They Affect Your Insurance

  1. Couldnt find the annswer ,,my wife due to an illness ,,then wrong calculating banking fees etc ,,had 3 nsf ess,,the car insurance was terminated ,,,the new brokers said since she was canceled,,,and had canceled policiy on old cars no longer fit for the road ,,count as problems . shes been driving for 28 years ,,no offences ,,has a fender TOUCH on the 401 with snow,, everything was crawling
    and the guy slamned his breaks on ,,which resulted in her hitting ( touching his bumper ,,, now the new local brokers want more than double the insurance ,,and heres the clincher …she was a 10 star driver ,,they want her to go back to a zero ,,makes matters worse a quote was given ,, then they wanted to know who lives with her !!! whos licensed ,,,,and they requested the name ,,d.o.b and drivers licesnce number and phone number of the guy that drives there ,,she doesnt lend her car period ,and is the sole driver and insurer ..please is this NORMAL procedure >>email me to were in northern ontario,,,thnx Ken

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