Speeding – Highway Traffic Act s.128
In Ontario speed limits 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
- there are no demerit points
- goes against the vehicle, not a driver
- is in the same class as a parking ticket
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.
Driving abstracts are available to anyone who has the drivers licence number for a fee payable to the Ministry of Transportation.
Therefore the way the insurance company will finds out about the ticket is:
- The insurance company contacts
- the Ministry of Transportation and
- checks the drivers abstract, or
- the driver calls and
- tells the insurance company that they received a ticket
Where a driver is convicted of speeding the conviction is put on the driving record for 3 years.
Summons to Appear in Court
When a police officer issues a summons to appear, the driver or their legal representative must appear before the court on the date specified on the summons.
If the driver or their legal representative does not appear, the judge may issue a warrant for the drivers arrest.
Where the speed exceeds 50km/h a police officer the judge can:
- issue a fine of $12 per kilometre over the limit
- licence suspension of up to 6 months
- or both
*for example a driver is convicted of driving 50km/h the fine would be 50km x $12 = $600.00.
Speeding tickets fines increase with the amount of speed.
All speeding tickets over 15km/h have demerit points attached to the ticket.
Speeding tickets fines increases with the amount of speed. The maximum fine a police officer issue for speeding is for 49km/h over the limit.
At 50km/h and above, the officer must issue a summons to appear in court.
|50 +||No Set Fine - Must attend court||6|
What is a Victim Fine Surcharge?
The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) like a tax to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.
These funds are deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
- The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
- For example, a $600 fine would result in a $120 surcharge.
- Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent.
Where a police officer issues a traffic ticket for more than 49km/h the officer must give the driver a summons to appear in court.
Where a judge issues a fine for speeding 50km/h or more, the fine is $12 per kilometre.
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
Class G drivers face suspensions where the speed recorded is over 50km/h or where they exceed the demerit point limitations.
- All drivers more than 50km/h
- up to 6 months suspension
- up to 2 years if charged with stunt driving
Novice drivers – Class G1 and G2 licence holders
- speeding more than 29km/h
- 30 day licence suspension
The suspension is for 30 days for exceeding the demerit point limitations for novice driver
All drivers maybe suspended where a fine goes into default.
Where a drivers licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court.
The reinstatement fee is $281.00
Demerit Point Suspensions
The accumulation of demerit points can result in a licence suspension.
- Class G licences receive a
- drivers licence interview at 8 points
- licence suspension at 15 demerits
- Class G1 and G2 Drivers are suspended for
- accumulating 6 demerit points
- any one ticket with 4 or more demerit points
Highway Traffic Act s.128
(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.
R . v. Bland. – Where there is no oral evidence of the speed limit, the court is bound to take judicial noice of the speed limit contained in the regulations.
R. v. Kennedy – A defence of necessity may be sustained in appropriate cases as where a car following too closely did not permit a reduction of speed.
Durham (Regional Municipality) v. Snowden – there was evidence these signs in the area in question were covered over and were therefore not in effect.
R. v Friedinger, 2018 BCSC 2276 (CanLII) – Whether the judicial justice erred by failing to resolve a contradiction in the evidence about visual speed estimates and measurements of speed recorded on a laser speed device;
R. v. Abelarde, 2018 ONCJ 349 (CanLII) hour — speed readings — motor vehicle — travelling — eastbound laser Speed measuring device at the material time, he determined that the motor vehicle was travelling at rates of speed well in excess of the 60 kilometres per hour speed limit.