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The speeding limits in Ontario unless otherwise posted are:
- within the municipalities the speed limit is 50km/h,
- outside of the municipalities (e.g. country roads) the limit is 80km/h.
These speed limits do not have to be posted. Municipalities can reduce or increase speeds, but signage must be posted for motorists to see and be aware of.
Only a police officer is allowed to issue a speeding ticket.
Police officers are allowed to enforce the speed limit by:
- pacing motor vehicles
- radar and laser speed measurements
- using time and distance calculations
The speed limits only apply to Ontario roadways but police can do the enforcement from any location, e.g. the officer can park on private property and enforce the speed limit.
Many municipalities are starting to use speed enforcement cameras. These cameras target the vehicle and when a set speed is obtained by the camera a photo is taken.
Speeding tickets from cameras are different than those issued by a police officer in that the ticket:
- does not affect insurance. The ticket goes against the vehicle’s licence plate, as the driver is not identified in the photo radar images. Insurance companies have no access to photo radar convictions.
- there are no demerit points. As the ticket goes against the vehicle, and not to a driver. The driver is not identified, subsequently there are no demerit points issued for speeding tickets from photo radar tickets.
- goes against the vehicle, not a driver. Tickets for photo radar are issued against the vehicle, not the driver. Where the ticket goes unpaid there are no implications or penalties for the driver.
- is in the same class as a parking ticket. Photo radar tickets are in the same classification as parking tickets. The only penalty is a fine, and where the ticket is unpaid a late fee maybe added by the municipality.
OntarioSpeeding.com photo radar information page >
Speeding tickets can affect insurance rates for drivers. Once the driver is convicted of speeding, the court sends a notice to the Ministry of Transportation.
Upon receiving the record of conviction from the court the Ministry of Transportation then adds the speeding conviction to the record. Each insurance company is a private company with their own set of rules and standards.
Some insurance companies will not increase insurance rates for one ticket and others will. The problem is drivers don’t know what the insurance company is going to do, and if asked, there is a chance they will increase it due to the inquiry. Drivers need to keep their driving records clear.
Demerit Points for Speeding
Demerit points are assigned to the driving record based upon the rate of speed recorded:
- 0 to 15 km/h – no loss of points
- 16 to 29 km/h – 3 points
- 30 to 49 km/h – 4 points
- 50km/h or more – 6 points/30 day suspension
Novice Drivers – Class G1 and G2 Drivers
Novice drivers are suspended for:
- any speeding ticket over 29km/h for 30 days
- exceeding novice driver
- demerit points accumulation levels
- exceeding novice driver
*Note: Where a novice driver accumulates 4 or more demerit points, the licence will be suspended for 30 days. Any licence suspension will dramatically affect insurance rates.
Fighting Speeding Tickets
Where a driver receives a speeding ticket, they are given 3 options:
- pay the ticket
- meet with a prosecutor
- fight the ticket
Where a driver disputes a ticket “many times” the prosecutor at court will reduce the points or the fine, but not cancel the charge. Where a driver accepts a reduced charge or fine the ticket goes on the driving record and to the insurance for 3 years.
Fighting speeding tickets is based upon the:
- legal technicalities of the charge,
- did the officer do everything properly, and
- has the court system done everything properly
Legal expertise maybe required to appear in traffic court and have a trial against the prosecutor and police officer.
Speeding – Legal Definition
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than,
(a) 50 kilometres per hour on a highway within a local municipality or within a built-up area;
(b) despite clause (a), 80 kilometres per hour on a highway, not within a built-up area, that is within a local municipality that had the status of a township on December 31, 2002 and, but for the enactment of the Municipal Act, 2001, would have had the status of a township on January 1, 2003, if the municipality is prescribed by regulation;
(c) 80 kilometres per hour on a highway designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as a controlled-access highway under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, whether or not the highway is within a local municipality or built-up area;
(d) the rate of speed prescribed for motor vehicles on a highway in accordance with subsection (2), (5), (6), (6.1) or (7); or
(e) the maximum rate of speed set under subsection (10) and posted in a construction zone designated under subsection (8) or (8.1).
(1.1) The Minister may by regulation prescribe the municipalities to which clause (1) (b) applies.
Rate of speed by by-law
(2) The council of a municipality may, for motor vehicles driven on a highway or portion of a highway under its jurisdiction, by by-law prescribe a rate of speed different from the rate set out in subsection (1) that is not greater than 100 kilometres per hour and may prescribe different rates of speed for different times of day.
Same, within designated areas
(2.1) A by-law passed under subsection (2) may designate an area in the municipality and prescribe a rate of speed, which must be less than 50 kilometres per hour, that applies to all highways within the designated area that, absent a by-law passed under subsection (2), would have a prescribed rate of speed of 50 kilometres per hour under clause (1) (a).
Same, excluded highways
(2.2) A by-law for a designated area described in subsection (2.1) may exclude from the application of the by-law any highway or portion of a highway within the designated area that has a different rate of speed prescribed specifically for that highway or portion of highway by a by-law passed under subsection (2).
(3) The rate of speed set under subsection (10) may be any speed that is not greater than 100 kilometres per hour.
Rate in school zones
(5) The council of a municipality may by by-law,
(a) designate a portion of a highway under its jurisdiction that adjoins the entrance to or exit from a school and that is within 150 metres along the highway in either direction beyond the limits of the land used for the purposes of the school; and
(b) for motor vehicles driven, on days on which school is regularly held, on the portion of a highway so designated, prescribe a rate of speed that is lower than the rate of speed otherwise prescribed under subsection (1) or (2) for that portion of highway, and prescribe the time or times at which the speed limit is effective.
Rate on bridges
(6) If the council of a municipality by by-law prescribes a lower rate of speed for motor vehicles passing over a bridge on a highway under its jurisdiction than is prescribed under subsection (1), signs indicating the maximum rate of speed shall be posted in a conspicuous place at each approach to the bridge.
Rate on grade
(6.1) The council of a municipality may by by-law,
(a) designate a portion of a highway under its jurisdiction that includes a grade of 6 per cent or higher; and
(b) prescribe for any class or classes of motor vehicles a lower rate of speed, when travelling down grade on that portion of the highway, than is otherwise prescribed under subsection (1) or (2) for that portion of highway.
(6.2) The portion of a highway designated under clause (6.1) (a) shall not include more than 500 metres on either side of the portion of the highway where the grade is 6 per cent or higher.
Rate of speed by regulation
(7) The Minister may make regulations prescribing a rate of speed for,
(a) motor vehicles driven on a highway or portion of a highway within a provincial park;
(b) any class or classes of motor vehicles driven on the King’s Highway or portion of the King’s Highway whether or not the King’s Highway is within a municipality, and the rate of speed may be different for any period or periods of the day or night or direction of travel; and
(c) motor vehicles driven on a highway or portion of a highway in territory without municipal organization.
(8) An official of the Ministry authorized by the Minister in writing may designate any part of the King’s Highway as a construction zone, and every construction zone designated under this subsection shall be marked by signs in accordance with the regulations.
(8.1) A person appointed by the municipality for the purpose of this subsection may designate a highway or portion of a highway under the municipality’s jurisdiction as a construction zone, and every construction zone designated under this subsection shall be marked by signs in accordance with the regulations.
(8.2) The presence of signs posted under subsection (8) or (8.1) is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the designation of the portion of the highway as a construction zone, of the authority of the person authorized under subsection (8) or (8.1) to make the designation and of the speed limit set for the portion of the highway under subsection (10).
Speed limit in construction zones
(10) The person authorized under subsection (8) or (8.1) may set a lower rate of speed for motor vehicles driven in the designated construction zone than is otherwise provided in this section, and the speed limit shall not become effective until the highway or portion of it affected is signed in accordance with subsection (8) or (8.1), as the case may be, and with subsection (10.1). Speed limit signs in construction zones
(10.1) Signs posting the maximum rate of speed at which motor vehicles may be driven in a designated construction zone may be erected in accordance with the regulations.
By-laws, regulations effective when posted
(11) No by-law passed under this section or regulation made under clause (7) (c) becomes effective until the highway, portion of the highway or designated area affected by the by-law or regulation, as the case may be, is signed in accordance with this Act and the regulations.
(12) Where a by-law or regulation passed under this section becomes effective, the rates of speed prescribed in subsection (1) do not apply to the highway or portion of the highway affected by the by-law or regulation.
- Red Lights
- Stop Signs
- Prohibited Turns
- Careless Driving
- Turn Not in Safety
Q. Does the officer have to show the radar? A. No police officers are not required by law to show the speed obtained on speed measuring devices.
Q. Can the officer give a ticket when they’re on private property? A. Yes, police officers in Ontario can be on private property, observe a vehicle speeding, stop the driver and issue a ticket.