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The Demerit Points System Explained
In order to encourage safe and responsible driving, penalties or demerit points are added to the driving record of a driver. These points vary depending upon the offense and make sure that drivers avoid misusing their privilege of driving for harming themselves and others on the road. Demerit points stay on your driving record for two years from the date of the offense. You can even lose your driving license if you collect enough demerit points.
Here is a list of demerit points according to traffic violations that you are convicted of.
7 demerit points:
• Failing to remain at the scene of a collision.
• Failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer.
6 demerit points:
• Careless driving
• Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more
• Failing to stop for a school bus
5 demerit points:
• Failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (for bus drivers only)
4 demerit points:
• Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour
• Following too closely
3 demerit points:
• Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/hour
• Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
• Driving the wrong way on a divided road
• Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
• Failing to yield the right-of-way
• Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal
• Failing to obey the directions of a police officer
• Failing to report a collision to a police officer
• Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
• Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
• Improper passing
• Improper driving when road is divided into lanes
• Improper use of a high occupancy vehicle lane
• Going the wrong way on a one-way road
• Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
• Crowding the driver’s seat.
2 demerit points:
• Improper right and left turn
• Prohibited turns
• Improper opening of a vehicle door
• Towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis
• Unnecessary slow driving
• Backing on highway
• Failing to lower headlamp beams
• Failing to obey signs
• Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
• Failing to share the road
• Failing to signal
• Driver failing to wear a seat belt
• Driver failing to ensure infant/child passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat
• Driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured
• Driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 years is wearing a seat belt
The more demerit points you will have the more dire consequences it will have on your drivers’ license. The consequences for gaining demerit points depend on how many you have added to your driving record.
Penalties for full license holder:
A full license holder will get a warning letter for having 2 to 8 points. In addition, the penalty for having 9 to 14 points is suspension of the driving license. You may be required to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. During this meeting, you will have to justify why your license should not be suspended. If you do not attend the meeting, in spite of being informed about the time, day, and location of the meeting, then your license will be suspended. In case you have more than 15 demerit points, then your license will be suspended for 30 days. You will be informed by the Ministry of Transportation through letter about the suspension of your license. This will also inform you about the date when you need to surrender your license. In case you do not surrender your license, then you can lose your license for two years.
Penalties for a new driver and a G1,G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L license holder
The penalties vary for new drivers or drivers who have a G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L license. As a new driver, you will get a warning letter for getting 2-5 demerit points, Your license could be suspended for amassing 6 to 8 points and you may be called to attend an interview and you will have to reason why your license should not be suspended. In case you get more than 9 points, your license will be suspended for 60 days and you will be informed when you have to surrender your license. Failing to surrender your license, may get your license suspended for two years.