Fines and points is complicated
When you get a speeding ticket in Quebec, you better be good at math or have a calculator handy because the associated fines and points can be complicated. The points and correlating fines are broken down in this handy guide which covers what seems to be every possible scenario for speeding violations. The consequences of being caught speeding in Quebec aren't so much about high fines as they are about how quickly you can lose your license for certain infractions and the accumulation of points.
For example, zones where the posted speed limit is 60 km/h or less have their own category of fines and points ranging from speeding at 11 km/hr in a 10 km/hr zone to 99 km/hr in a 60 km/hr zone. The points, known as demerit points, in this category range from 0 to 3 and the fines run from $15 to $155. So far, not so bad.
In addition to the “standard” fines and demerit points, the under 60 km/hr zones also include a breakdown of excessive speeding scenarios. These excessive speeds range from speeding at 50 km/hr or more in a 10 km/hr zone to 100 km/hr or more in a 60 km/hr zone. They run from $350 to $2,995, depending upon a variety of factors such as previous convictions, and the demerit points range from 6 to the maximum of 36. Get into this category, and you're starting to look at some big bucks and lots of points.
The fines and points chart goes on to cover speeding in a 60 km/hr to no more than 90 km/hr zone and a third category for zones with a posted speed limit of 100 km/hr or more. And they all include additional excessive speed categories. See, we told you it was complicated. The only simple math here is that you only have to double any fines for speeding in a work zone!
But wait, there's more!
Demerit points, brackets, and complicated calculations
A demerit point may sound like something you'd get in school for talking during class, but they have a lot more impact when it comes to speeding in Quebec. These points are used to determine how much it costs to renew your license, how much you pay for insurance, and whether you get to keep your license or not. Understanding how these points are calculated and how they determine the consequences are not for the faint of heart!
While demerit points don't typically result in recurring insurance premium hikes in the traditional sense, the penalties and fines associated with these points can quickly compound. A single speeding ticket may not be that big of a deal, but get another ticket, and you could easily incur significant one-time costs, loss of your licence, and other consequences.
To add to the already complicated calculations, demerit points are further broken down by the age/experience of drivers into four brackets:
1. 4-POINT BRACKET
Applies to holders of a learner's licence or probationary licence
Applies to holders of a Class 6D (moped or scooter) or Class 8 (tractor) driver's licence who have held their licence for fewer than 5 years.
Applies to individuals who do not hold a licence
(Individuals without a licence who reach or exceed the 4-point threshold will have their right to obtain a licence suspended for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months, depending on the number of points on record.)
2. 8-POINT BRACKET
Applies to driver's licence holders under age 23
3. 12-POINT BRACKET
Applies to driver's licence holders age 23 or 24
4. 15-POINT BRACKET
Applies to driver's licence holders age 25 or older
Certain offences can result in more demerit points than you are allowed to accumulate. For example, excessive speeding can lead to more than 30 demerit points with a single conviction!
Demerit points that aren't related to excess speed remain on your driving record for 2 years following the date of your conviction. Once you have reached or exceeded the threshold of your bracket, you will receive a notice informing you that your licence has been revoked. The licence revocation lasts a minimum of 3. 6, or 12 months depending on:
● The demerit point bracket that applies to you
● The number of points accumulated
● The duration of the most recent penalty imposed within the previous 2 years
Because Quebec maintains a public automobile insurance fund for all drivers under the Automobile Insurance Act, all drivers are required to contribute a specified amount when they renew their license or register a vehicle. Depending on how many demerit points you have, you could end up paying several hundred dollars when you register a vehicle or renew your licence.
Excessive speeding, accumulated points, and even more math!
It's the accumulation of demerit points and excessive speeding that can lead to some pretty hefty costs and/or losing your license. Excessive speeding is clearly defined in the guide mentioned above and results in the following:
● Your license is immediately suspended for 7,30, or 60 days.
● Your vehicle can be seized and impounded for 30 days or more.
● Your current number of demerit points is doubled.
● The amount of the fine is doubled or tripled depending on other offences within the last 10 years.
● If convicted, the demerit points remain on your license for 10 years.
● The cost of renewing your licence could cost up to around $400.
Putting it all together
When you get a speeding ticket in Quebec, and it's your only infraction, the costs of simply paying the ticket are pretty low and don't adversely affect how much your insurance contributions will increase. Keeping in mind that Quebec has about a 99% conviction rate when it comes to speeding tickets, your best option (if its your only infraction) is probably to just pay off the ticket and let it fall off of your driving record in two years.
If you already have demerit points on your licence or previous infractions for excessive speeding, then getting a speeding ticket in Quebec can lead to some costly consequences. Certain individual offences can result in enough demerit points to exceed the maximum allowed, and excessive speeding can lead to more than 30 demerit points with a single conviction!
When you combine the extensive breakdown of speeding categories, the demerit point brackets, and the very limited chance of winning a speeding case in court, anything more than a single infraction is going to require the expertise of an experienced traffic attorney with a calculator. A reputable traffic lawyer can undoubtedly help you limit the financial consequences of a speeding ticket, help reduce demerit points, and make your case as least painful as possible.