Careless driving means driving without due care, attention & consideration for other drivers.

Careless Driving Ticket
Rear end accidents are typical of an incident where a careless driving charge could be issued.

Careless driving tickets may be given when the officer believes the driver was:

  • driving without due care and attention, or
  • driving without consideration for other drivers

Careless driving is a traffic offence under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.

Careless Driving is NOT a Criminal Charge.

Careless driving is not a criminal charge or offence. The charge of driving carelessly is a traffic offence under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, a provincial statute of the Province of Ontario.

Criminal charges are under the Criminal Code of Canada, which is Federal law for the whole of Canada.

The difference between the two is intent:

  • usually careless driving incidents are
    • momentary inattentiveness
    • accidents or unplanned events
    • driving without consideration for other drivers

In criminal charges the accused usually planned or “had the intent to do the act”, e.g. they planned on doing street racing or driving dangerously.

Careless Driving Penalties

Drivers convicted or who pay careless driving tickets receive the following penalties:

  • 6 demerit points
  • fine up to $2000
  • jail up to 6 months
  • possible licence suspensions
  • vehicle permit suspension up to 2 years

Where any driver is convicted of careless driving, the insurance will be dramatically affect for 3 or more years.

Novice Drivers – G1 and G2 Drivers

Novice drivers convicted of careless driving receive an additional penalty of a mandatory 30 day licence suspension.

The reason for the suspension is because Novice Drivers are limited to 4 demerit points for any one traffic ticket conviction.  As careless driving has 6 demerit points, any conviction would put the novice past the limit resulting in a suspension.

Where a novice driver is included on a policy, a careless driving conviction would affect the insurance rates for all other drivers on the policy.  For example, the parents put their 18 son on their insurance policy.

Bodily Harm or Death

Where the incident involves bodily harm or death the justice may prescribe a penalty of:

  • fine not less than 2000 dollars,
    • up to 50,000 dollars
  • jail up to 2 years
  • licence suspension for up to 5 years
  • permit suspension for up to 5 years

Bodily harm means injuries that are more than minor in nature, injuries such as sore backs, hurt or cuts are not usually considered bodily harm.

The phrase bodily harm refers to serious injuries not trifling in nature.

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