Penalties for Careless Driving

Careless driving example: driving into a lake, michael scott
Example of careless driving

What is Careless Driving?

The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario defines careless driving as driving on a highway without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway[1].


Minimum fine: $400

Maximum fine: $2,000

If you’re convicted, the court can suspend your licence for up to two years. If they’re feeling particularly punishing, you may even find yourself jailed, up to 6 months.

Demerit Points

Some things to know:

  1. A conviction carries six demerit points.
  2. Demerit points stay on your record with the Ministry of Transportation for 2 years from the offence date.
  3. A fully licensed driver with between 9 and 14 demerits points may be required to attend an interview with a ministry official and convince them why your license should not be suspended.
  4. At 15 demerit points, the Ministry will suspend your licence. After that, you won’t be able to request it back until 30 days from the date you surrender it. If you don’t hand it over, you might lose it for up to two years.

Insurance Risk Points and Non-Renewals

A conviction for careless driving also has consequences for your insurance, as well, and that’s where high-risk insurance comes into play. To determine whether this is necessary, insurance companies look into how many, if any, risk points you’ve accumulated. Read more about risk points.

[1]Official Definition (only click if you’re a lawyer or need to prove to your teacher that you didn’t make this up)