So you’ve been caught speeding. Now, you may have started reading the title and immediately thought that this was going to be a saucy story about virginity. Then you saw the words “demerit points”, and remembered that you’re not on Cosmo, but rather an insurance website while your life takes a chaotic nosedive. I’m so sorry.
Not that getting your first speeding ticket is that different from losing your virginity. Hear me out: You get that same stomach flip as you realize what’s about to happen. The situation makes for a story you’d rather not relive but find yourself telling anyway on numerous occasions. It happened because you were going too fast, and now you just can’t take it back. The whole thing isn’t nearly as big of a deal as you were thinking at the time.
Don’t Panic, It’s Not the End of the World
On the other hand, if you haven’t ever been ticketed for speeding and you just like to read insurance blogs for fun (there’s help for that), not to worry–it will almost definitely happen to you at some point. Statistically speaking, anyone of legal driving age will at one point or another, come into a situation where they are just being a little over-zealous with their minor law breaking. Maybe going a few too many kilometres over the limit to get to work on time; probably to impress a date. Or maybe you just happen to be the unlucky scapegoat driver in a line of 200 vehicles at rush hour all doing 120, and the cop happened to want to fill their quota immediately following an awkward run-in with an ex they’re still in love with, who now has a baby and better overall complexion.
If people were penalized for making careless or inappropriate decisions, the world would be a much nicer place and also Trump wouldn’t be president
Which is all just to say, whether or not you have already or will eventually be sternly handed an official speeding ticket, that as long as you weren’t driving under an(y) influence, you will most likely be okay. If people were penalized for making careless or inappropriate decisions, the world would be a much nicer place and also Trump wouldn’t be president (seriously, what would that be like?).
Anyway, let’s assume that one of the above scenarios applies to you, and you’re now stuck with this supremely annoying piece of paper telling you to pay up in a haughty, pretentious way- you know, as inanimate objects tend to do. Besides the sizeable chunk that’ll come out of your bank account, you might be wondering what other terrible, awful, no good, very bad things will come from this momentary lapse of judgment. Before you start analyzing every heinous misdemeanour you have ever committed over the course of your entire life since birth that have compounded into this tragic act of karmic retribution, take a deep breath. Drink some tea and read up on your situation, so that at least you can berate yourself in an informed manner.
Your Ticket Guide: 101
First, you need to think about whether you were >15km above the posted limit. Be honest, this is a safe space, and also we’re strangers who will likely never meet.
If the answer is no, you can technically stop reading here. Go pay your ticket, then proceed with your life exactly as before, plagued not at all with further implications, and having learned nothing. Congratulations.
If the answer is yes, however, there will unfortunately be consequences, on top of the fine, in the form of demerit points.
“The heck are demerit points?” You might ask ever so curiously.
You’ve probably heard the term before and nodded along knowingly because it’s one of those things everyone should know about, but most don’t really understand. Especially since they likely weren’t paying attention to this part during driving lessons, and instead imagining how cool it’d be to re-enact scenes from the Fast & Furious (which is a dumb thing that no one should ever do especially not on a public street.
Demerit points are basically little slaps on the wrist, only they’re more emotionally painful and appear on your driver’s license to let the government know that you’ve been naughty. Long-lasting side effects include bringing it up at every opportunity and not being able to shut up about it when you do.
Sometimes the officer will be nice and write a lower speed than the actual speed you were going, especially if it’s your first offence.
Side note: if you really want to see how well you can get out of taking responsibility for your actions, you could try the following:
3) Crying while flirting
4) Doing the Ross
5) Pretending you’re from England and trying to convince them that you not only are used to driving on the other side of the road, but your speedometers also go backwards
6) Offering up some of the weed from your hidden compartment stash (disclaimer: this one only works if you’re white).
If you really insist on living outside of the law, try to at least wait until you’re past your probationary period as a driver. Otherwise known as G2 and under. At this point, you’re only allotted a maximum of 6 demerit points before you get your license suspended for 30 days. And that’s only if this is the first DP violation (that’s insurance speak for ‘demerit points’, you know, in case you want to be cool like us).
At this point, you’re only allotted a maximum of 6 demerit points before you get your license suspended for 30 days.
After that, the Ontario Ministry of Transport can suspend it for up to 6 months, and unless you live somewhere with a good transit system (so anywhere outside of North America), that’s going to be a wildly frustrating time. You could also drive un-licensed, I suppose, but then you’d just be breaking a different law to get around the inconvenience caused by you breaking the first one.
If you have finally been granted the privilege of holding a full license, you do have a more luxurious 15 points at your disposal*, should you find yourself abusing said privilege. But that’s kind of like having an increased credit limit after a year of being good, then seeing how much you can put on your card without considering things like housing and food and overall available funds.
Personally, I’ve never received a ticket for speeding because I’m awesome. But I do know that if I were to decide one day that I want to stop relying on the TTC and be happy instead, I would definitely know
when to speed or not to speed, not ever speed.
Next, we’ll take a walk through the available options if you decide to either not pay your speeding ticket, or level up and fight the Boss.
So, what happens if you choose not to pay?