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A Montreal police officer speaks to a driver in this 2009 file photo.

Peter Mccabe/The Canadian Press

Do demerits from Quebec count in Nova Scotia? — Paul

Those demerits from Quebec shouldn’t follow you back to Nova Scotia as souvenirs, Quebec’s provincial insurer said.

“The demerits will not be transferred,” the Société de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), which licenses drivers and vehicles, said in an e-mail.

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Quebec didn’t sign the Canadian Driver Licence Compact (CDLC), a 1990 agreement to share driving records between the provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia.

Instead, Quebec has its own reciprocal information-sharing agreements with Ontario, Maine and New York — if you have a licence from those places, your Quebec tickets will be added to your record.

British Columbia and Nunavut aren’t part of the CDLC, so they don’t share either.

An exception? Criminal Code convictions — for instance, impaired driving — do get shared, an Insurance Corporation of British Columbia spokeswoman said.

If you got your ticket in one of the nine provinces and territories that do share with Nova Scotia, you can figure out how many demerits you’ll get by looking at Section 282 of Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act.

It gives a table of specific out-of-province offences, including speeding and using a handheld device, and the demerits you’ll get for each — if Nova Scotia “has received from that other province a record of conviction.”

So, if you were convicted of distracted driving in Ontario, where it’s six demerits, you’d get four demerits on your Nova Scotia licence and they’d stay there for two years from the date of conviction.

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Why do demerits matter? Once you hit 10, you get a six-month licence suspension.

And, what if you haven’t paid that Quebec ticket?

“Unpaid out-of-province tickets are not within our jurisdiction,” said Nova Scotia spokeswoman Marla MacInnis.

But, if you ever move to Quebec, you won’t be able to get a Quebec licence or register a vehicle there until the fine is paid, the SAAQ said.

What’s the ticket-proof speed?

I drive in Quebec and Ontario where the limit is 100 km/h. But I set my cruise control at 115 km/h which is where most drivers are. I have passed police checks many times, as have others going slightly faster with no penalty. So I don’t think it’s likely to get tickets for going just a few km/h over the limit. — Archie

Could you get a ticket if you’re speeding but not speeding, speeding?

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“You know what my answer’s going to be,” said Sergeant Kerry Schmidt, with the Ontario Provincial Police highway safety division. “Technically, anything over 100 km/h on an Ontario highway is breaking the law.”

So will you actually get pulled over for going 107 km/h?

“Probably not,” Schmidt said. “It all depends on the flow of traffic, how you’re driving, the weather.”

Going 15 km/h over the limit is a $52.50 fine in Ontario (no demerits) and a $65 fine (one demerit) in Quebec. If it’s a construction zone, that doubles.

In the other provinces, it varies. For instance, going 15 km/h over the limit is $138 (3 demerits) in British Columbia, $120 in Alberta, $180 in Saskatchewan and $246 in Manitoba (all two demerits).

But how often do people get pulled over for speeding only a little?

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We asked Ontario and Quebec for a breakdown of convictions by the number of km/h over the limit, but they could only provide their most recent numbers for total speeding convictions.

In 2017 in Ontario, there were 476,846 total speeding convictions. In 2016 in Quebec, there were 557,798.

And driving in a pack, or going slightly slower behind a faster driver, doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get pulled over, said the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

“With the laser technology we have, the operator can catch multiple targets,” said Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau, SQ spokesman. “You can be going slower than the person in front of you and still get a ticket.”

And, if the roads are icy or there’s no visibility due to rain or snow — you could get a ticket even if you’re going the speed limit, or under it, Thibaudeau said.

The only way to guarantee that you won’t get a speeding ticket? Don’t speed.

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“If you’re going over, you’re taking your chances,” Thibaudeau said. “I’m sure I’ve given tickets for 115 km/h, it’s not all that uncommon.”

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