What Tickets Affect Car Insurance Rates in Canada?
Did you know that going 3+ consecutive years without a traffic conviction (ticket) can make you eligible to receive up to 10% off your annual car insurance premium amount?
Going 3+ consecutive years without a ticket shows you’re dedicated to being a law-abiding driver. Auto insurers want to insure drivers that have a lower chance of being involved in an at-fault accident, which is why they offer this discount as an incentive to safe drivers.
Here’s a look at the different types of tickets you can get, as well as whether they’ll impact your ability to be able to be eligible for a convictions-free discount.
Criminal Driving Offenses
If you’re charged with a criminal driving offense, such as driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, dangerous driving or criminal negligence, being eligible for auto insurance discounts is the least of your concerns.
Aside from the potentially fatal outcome of your actions, your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days. If you’re found guilty, a first criminal driving offense carries with it a one-year license suspension, as well as a minimum fine of $1000, plus whatever punishments the courts deem fit for your actions.
A conviction of a criminal driving charge will mean you’ll be ineligible for a ticket-free discount for at least 4 years.
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When a police officer pulls you over, for a driving action, they may issue you a ticket. Common traffic tickets include:
- Distracted driving
- Performing an unsafe lane change
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Not yielding to a pedestrian
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a license (or expired license)
Each of these tickets you’re able to challenge, in an effort to get your ticket canceled or reduced. If you’re able to get your ticket canceled, that’s great news for you! Your consecutive time of driving without a conviction can continue. Even if you get a reduced ticket/fine, your ticket will still show on your driving record. Because of this, your consecutive clean driving streak will end.
Traffic summons are issued when an incident results in serious/significant consequences. If you leave the scene of an at-fault accident (hit & run), hit a pedestrian, are driving extremely reckless, these would result in a traffic summons to court.
Being found guilty of a traffic summons would halt your record of consecutive time without a traffic conviction.
If you receive a photo radar ticket, this ticket will arrive in the mail and be charged to the owner of the vehicle registered to the license plate they snapped a picture of.
Often known as a ‘’cash grab’’, in theory, photo radar tickets are meant to help drivers be more aware of school zones, moderate their speed in high traffic/accident areas and ensure drivers don’t run red lights.
If you receive a photo radar ticket, the fine and potential demerits will go on your record. However, a photo radar ticket will not count against your consecutive time without a conviction streak. Your streak can live on despite getting the pesky photo radar ticket.
Parking infractions are just that – parking, not driving. You can be fined, have a car wheel booted or even have your vehicle towed for being parked in an illegal spot/area.
That said, parking infractions/tickets do not go on your driving record. Similar to a photo radar ticket, your consecutive time without a driving conviction streak can continue.