“Ignorance of the Law is NO EXCUSE” - this phrase says it all. We have witnessed countless times where an accused stands before the Judge and the charge is read out to them. They are given the choice of entering a “GUILTY” or a “NOT GUILTY” plea. They might understand the charge however few realize the ramifications that result from a GUILTY plea.
DID YOU KNOW that every motorist with a cell phone is a ‘potential policeman’. In Alberta, when a motorist phones in a complaint to the police office about your driving, you will be charged as a result of that complaint if the complainant is willing to attend the police office and file a written statement and promise to appear in court should you wish to dispute the charge.
DRIVE AN UNINSURED VEHICLE
Although this charge carries ‘no demerit points’, it results in the ‘highest’ fine under the act. For the first offence, the fine is $2875.00. For each subsequent offence within a one year period, that fine will double to $5750.00 on the second and in rare cases, over $10,000.00 for the third. If you fail to insure your vehicle and drive it, you will have no defense to offer before the court. You will have a defense if you variably believe that your vehicle was insured at the time you were driving it and the insurance was cancelled without your knowledge. It becomes a ‘due diligence’ issue which you would have to convince the court. Did you know that if you borrow a vehicle, the onus is on YOU to ensure that vehicle is properly insured and registered BEFORE you drive it. Should you be involved in an accident regardless of fault, you will be subjected to civil action involving hundreds of thousands of dollars that affect you for the rest of your life.
DRIVE WHILE DISQUALIFIED
This offence not only carries the possibility of a high fine but also carries the most severe penalty from a conviction as there is a mandatory six (6) month suspension of your driving privileges attached to it. Should you be involved in an accident, alike that of operating an uninsured vehicle, you will not be covered by insurance and you will be subject to civil action. You must realize that YOU CAN’T OPERATE A VEHICLE UNTIL SUCH TIME YOU PHYSICALLY HAVE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE IN YOUR HAND.
FAIL TO REMAIN AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT
Also known as a Hit and Run. This is one of the most severe major offences under the Act as it carries seven (7) demerit points. A conviction under this act also carries severe insurance implications where you premiums could double.
Also deemed a ‘major’ offence, it carries six (6) demerit points and usually arises from a motor-vehicle collision where you are deemed ‘at fault’. The insurance implication is also severe and having a conviction of this offence would create a huge increase in your insurance premium. Observation or complaints of erratic driving may also constitute a charge under this section.
If you are convicted of a speed in excessive of 50 kph over the posted limited and are fortunate not to be suspended, you will be assessed six (6) demerit points on your driving record. This offence is also classified as a ‘major offence’ in the eyes of your insurance company and will result in a substantial increase in your insurance premium as well. The courts are now leaning to driver license suspensions in most cases involving speeding in excess of 50 kph.
FAILING TO STOP FOR A PEACE OFFICER
Use of Highway & Rules of the Road Regulation (UHRRR) both carry five (5) demerit points and are also consider ‘major’ offences which result in huge premium increases in the eyes of your insurance company.
Four (4) Demerit Offences
Unreasonable rate of speed – Sec. 2(1()(a) UHRRR and Fail to yield to Pedestrian in a crosswalk – Sec. 41(2) UHRRR
There are numerous other offences under provincial legislation that carry three (3) or two (2) demerit points that could eventually cause you to lose your driving privileges when you have reached the maximum points allowed within a two year period. In the case of a GDL license, you are limited to seven (7) demerit points within that period. Should you reach eight (8) demerits or greater, it will activate a suspension. In the case of a regular Class 5 license, you are entitled to fourteen (14) demerit points within that time frame.
Our agent has held a class 1 driver’s license and is fully knowledgeable with the Carrier Profile aspect of operating commercial vehicles.
We offer FREE ADVICE regarding traffic violations and urge clients to contact us at the earliest opportunity. We recommend that you do not enter a NOT GUILTY plea as the court date may conflict with other files the agent has set for the same date.