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Careless Driving

Section 130 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines the act of careless driving : Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.


Careless Driving

Demerit Points

6 Points


$400.00 – $2,000.00 plus court costs and victim fine surcharge.

Careless Driving

Careless Driving includes 6 demerit points, for a fully-licenced “G” driver.
For G1/G2/M1/M2 or hybrid drivers (combination of any graduated licence and full “G” or “M”), instead of the 6 demerit points, you will automatically receive a 30-day driver’s licence suspension, for a first offence.*


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What Is Careless Driving?

Careless driving can be somewhat confusing due to the nature of the law. A careless driving charge is open for interpretation by police, and there are many situations where careless driving qualifies as an offence. It is a charge or ticket that is given out by police when they deem a driver was not using care and failed to properly pay attention and drive safely.

Is There A Difference Between Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving?

Many drivers make the assumption that careless and dangerous driving are the same charge, or at least very similar. However, they are quite different.

Here is a definition of dangerous driving as presented in the Criminal Code of Canada :

 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates :

(a) a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the place at which the motor vehicle is being operated and the amount of traffic that at the time is or might reasonably be expected to be at that place. 

If you compare the two, you’ll notice :

  • Jurisdiction : Careless driving is found in the Highway Traffic Act – a provincial statute – whereas dangerous driving is found in the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • Penalties : The penalties for dangerous driving are more severe than penalties for careless driving – if you are found guilty of dangerous driving, you will receive a criminal conviction.
  • Application : Careless driving charges are only applicable on roadways. You cannot be charged with careless driving for issues that occur in parking lots, or private roads or driveways.



What should you do if you have been charged?

Contact POINTTS™ Traffic Tickets for a free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible to understand your options and get expert advice from a traffic ticket specialist.

Careless Driving Tickets

Careless driving fines and penalties vary based on the severity of the situation leading to you being charged. Here is some information on the type of fines and tickets you could receive :

There are two main types of careless driving tickets:

  • Careless Driving With A Fine : You receive a ticket with a fine amount and 6 demerit points. Paying the fine is your admission of guilt.
  • Careless Driving Without A Fine : Receiving a careless driving ticket with no fine occurs for more serious offences. You will receive a summons to appear in court to answer to the charges for careless driving. You can expect to receive a fine closer to the upper limits with the potential of a license suspension and even jail time for severe offences.

Careless Driving Fines And Penalties

Here is a breakdown of the possible driving penalties you could receive if you are given a careless driving charge in Ontario :

  • Fines : The fines range from $400 to $2,000 depending on the severity.
  • Points : 6 demerit points issued.
  • Novice Drivers : 30 day license suspension for novice drivers.
  • Zones : Fine is double in construction and community safety zones.
  • Suspension : Serious offences could receive a possible two-year license suspension.
  • Jail : Serious offences could receive a possible six months in jail.
  • Insurance Rates : Insurance increases 100% upon conviction.
  • Employment : Possible loss of employment, especially if driving is part of your job.

How Long Does Careless Driving Stay On Your Driving Record?

A careless driving charge will stay on your driving record for 3 years, the same as other driving convictions such as a speeding ticket in Ontario. Keep in mind, they stay on your record from the date of the conviction.

What Are The Types Of Careless Driving Charges In Ontario?

A careless driving charge in Ontario is applicable to many situations.

You can be charged with careless driving :

  • With an accident
  • Without an accident
  • Causing death or injury

 Regardless of the situation, your charges will still fall within the careless driving penalties.

Just because there is a fatality doesn’t necessarily mean it is a criminal offence … it’s how the collision occurred and what led up to it,explained Sgt. Scott Parker of the OPP’s Traffic Operations Division to

If the police believe there was more in play, or there was malicious intent, you could receive a charge for criminal negligence or dangerous driving, both with stiffer penalties and the potential for a criminal conviction.

Careless Driving And The Impact On Insurance Rates

If you drive carelessly and receive a careless driving ticket, you could face some serious car insurance repercussions. Considered to be one of the most serious driving offences, receiving a charge WILL impact your auto insurance, a reason why many drivers are interested in fighting a careless driving ticket.

There are three main ways your insurance coverage could be impacted :

  1. Increased Car Insurance Rates : Your auto insurance rates will increase, in some cases by as much as 100%. Rate increases will vary by insurance company.
  2. Loss Of Insurance Coverage : Some insurance companies will cancel or not renew your insurance coverage when your current policy expires. You may also have issues finding other insurance companies to offer you coverage, and if they do, expect your rates to be very high compared to your rates prior to your careless driving conviction.
  3. Being Labelled A High Risk Driver : A careless driving charge on your driving record is considered high risk by many insurance providers, and you may need high risk auto insurance in Ontario if you want to drive.


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