In Ontario, demerit points are a system used to track and penalize drivers who commit certain driving offences. These points are assigned to your driving record when you are convicted of a traffic violation. The purpose of demerit points is to encourage safe driving behavior by imposing consequences for repeated or serious traffic infractions.
Accumulation of Points: When you are convicted of a driving offense, demerit points are added to your driving record. The number of points assigned varies based on the severity of the offense.
Here are a few examples of demerit points for common driving offences in Ontario:
- Speeding (between 40-49 km/h over the limit): 4 demerit points
- Stunt driving (one example being 50 km/h or more over the limit): 6 demerit points
- Careless driving: 6 demerit points
- Following too closely (tailgating): 4 demerit points
Consequences: Accumulating demerit points can lead to various consequences, such as:
- Warnings: For new drivers, you might receive a warning letter when you accumulate 2 to 8 points.
- Interview: If you accumulate 9 to 14 points, you may be required to attend an interview to discuss your driving behavior.
- Licence Suspension: If you accumulate 15 or more demerit points, your driver’s licence could be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on your driving experience level (e.g., new drivers in the graduated licensing system have lower thresholds for suspension).
Removal of Points: Demerit points are removed from your record over time. They stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence. For example, if you received points for a violation on January 1, 2023, those points would be removed on January 1, 2025.
It is important to note that accumulating too many demerit points can lead to consequences such as licence suspension. For example, if you accumulate 15 demerit points, your licence could be suspended. Additionally, new drivers in the graduated licensing system (G1 and G2) have lower thresholds for licence suspension based on demerit points.