Quebec – Speeding Convictions Remain on Record for Ten (10) Years and Insurance Increases

Update: 

Automobiles heading eastbound on the service road planning to enter Highway 40 can be ticketed if they exceed the posted speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour.


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For the first time since a West Island motorist set off a firestorm by complaining publicly about a $628 ticket he received for “excessive speeding” on the eastbound Highway 40 service road in Kirkland, police have spoken out, defending their practice of ticketing speeders before they merge on the highway.

Montreal police traffic officer Jacques Monast, a 25-year veteran, said the eastbound service road at St. Charles Blvd. is one of the worst speeding hot spots in his territory.

Joseph Audi, a 49-year-old Kirkland man, complained in a March 2 letter to The Gazette about the $628 ticket that he had received Feb. 11 on the service road, calling it “just another cash grab” and “an abuse of the speeding law.”

Audi is contesting the ticket and hired a lawyer to fight it in court.

Monast, who was not the officer who issued the ticket, noted that “excessive speeding” – when a motorist is driving more than 40 km/h over a posted maximum rate of 30, 40, 50 or 60 km/h – is serious.

It automatically doubles the speeding fine, carries a 10-demerit point penalty and an on-the-spot driver’s licence suspension.

He said he thought the officer from the Montreal police department’s traffic division was right to ticket Audi, whose vehicle was clocked by radar at 99 km/h. Officers who have issued speeding tickets don’t need to make any apologies for targeting motorists who flout the law on the service lane or anywhere else, he added.

Monast said motorists who argue they need to speed in order to merge “safely” onto Highway 40 are deluding themselves.

He noted the merge onto Highway 40 from the eastbound service lane at St. Charles Blvd. is about 250 metres long and, runs into an additional fourth lane on Highway 40 that runs another 600 metres, giving motorists more than enough time to merge.

Excessive speeding is dangerous, he said. The sign on the service road reads “maximum” 50 km/h – not “minimum” 50km/h, he added.

“When people say there is some kind of unwritten law that you can travel 60 km/h, 70 km/h … well, if it’s unwritten, it’s not a law.”

Monast said there were many accidents on St. Charles Blvd. at the Highway 20 underpass before the introduction of a special red light with a piercing white light last August. Motorists exceeding the speed limit were often unable to stop safely at the first of two sets of lights under the underpass, he said.

With the new light, the number of accidents at the intersection has gone down from 14 in 2010 to six in 2011 – and, those accident numbers are expected to dip further in 2012, after a full-year with the new light.

DEMERIT POINTS COSTLY

If you have demerit points on your driving record, you can expect to pay more for automobile insurance and to renew your Quebec driver’s licence.

Demerit points are taken into account when you renew your driver’s licence with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and, those fees are increasing at the end of this month.

If you have 10 demerit points on your record – the standard penalty for excessive speeding – it will cost you $363 to renew a standard passenger vehicle driver’s licence as of April 30, up from the previous fee of $280.75, states the provincial government website (saaq.gouv.qc.ca).

If your driving record is clean, the cost of renewing your driver’s licence remains unchanged at $137.

In addition, excessive speeding on your record also may boost premiums of your private automobile insurance, according Anne Morin, a Quebec spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

 

Statistics – Quebec

Every year, speeding offences represent more than 70% of all offences that result in demerit points. During the 1990s, approximately 490,000 speeding tickets were issued each year. Between 2001 and 2004, that number grew to almost 600,000 per year. Although the number of speeding tickets issued by peace officers fell in 2005 and 2006, it reached a 20-year high in 2007.

Number of Speeding Offences
Description of offenceYear of offence
2003200420052006200720082009
Travelling 11 to 20 km/h over the speed limit66 98565 63250 35762 78476 94278 14190 670
Travelling 21 to 30 km/h over the speed limit296 737303 365223 059303 894414 390411 008408 218
Travelling 31 to 45 km/h over the speed limit190 030196 190142 265191 731250 093183 993165 289
Travelling 45 km/h over the speed limit26 83128 28316 98724 29231 68018 89712 072
Speeding in road work zones9 74712 8533 6956 78010 71114 72011 925
Total590 330606 323436 363589 481783 816706 759688 174

 

Each year, speeding on Québec roads kills 250 people and injures over 11,000 others. Even if you are a skilled driver at the wheel of a
good vehicle, you cannot go over the speed limit without increasing the risk of accident to yourself and other road users. No one can.
Speeding increases:
• braking distance;
• the severity of impacts.
Speeding reduces:
• tire traction;
• a driver’s field of vision.
Speeding is always risky!
To reduce the number of accidents and improve road safety, harsher penalties have been introduced to help deter excessive speeding.
WHAT IS EXCESSIVE SPEEDING?
You are committing an excessive speeding offence if you exceed the speed limit:
• by 40 km/h or over in a zone of 60 km/h or less;
• by 50 km/h or over in a 60 km/h to 90 km/h zone;
• by 60 km/h or over in a zone of 100 km/h.
REFERENCE PERIOD: TEN (10) YEARS
Since April 1, 2008, if you are found guilty of an excessive speeding offence, the offence will count against you for the next 10 years. This
means that if you commit one or more excessive speeding offences within ten years after your conviction, you will receive harsher penalties.
—————

Excessive Speeding – New Penalties

—————

First Offence:
If you are pulled over for excessive speeding:
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 7 days;
AND you are found guilty of the offence:
• the number of demerit points is doubled;
• the fine is doubled.
Second Offence:
If you are pulled over for excessive speeding and have had a previous conviction
for excessive speeding within the last 10 years:
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 30 days;
• immediate seizure of the vehicle for 30 days if both offences were committed
in a zone of 60 km/h or less;
AND you are found guilty of this offence:
• the number of demerit points is doubled;
• the fine is doubled.
Third Offence:
If you are pulled over for excessive speeding and have had 2 convictions for excessive speeding
within the last 10 years:
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 30 days; or
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 60 days if all three offences,
including this one, were committed in a zone of 60 km/h or less; or
• immediate seizure of the vehicle for 30 days if this offence, and at least one other,
were committed in a zone of 60 km/h or less;
AND you are found guilty of this offence:
• the number of demerit points is doubled;
• the fine is doubled.
Fourth Offence or Subsequent Offence:
If you are pulled over for excessive speeding and have had 3 or more previous convictions
for excessive speeding within the last 10 years:
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 30 days; or
• immediate suspension of your driver’s licence for 60 days if this offence and at least
two others were committed in a zone of 60 km/h or less; or
• immediate seizure of the vehicle for 30 days if this offence and at least one other
were committed in a zone of 60 km/h or less;
AND you are found guilty of this offence:
• the number of demerit points is doubled;
• the fine is tripled.

Laws you should be aware of while driving in Quebec.
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