What’s the lowest speeding ticket somebody can get? – Jenn, Calgary
Get caught going 1 km/h above the limit in Alberta and you’ll get two demerits and the province’s lowest possible speeding fine – $78.
If you’re a lead-foot and hit 2 km/h over the limit, that goes up to $80.
Alberta is one of six places in Canada – along with Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories – that increases the fine for each km/hr that you’re over the speed limit.
In Alberta, the hike between each speed varies. For instance, going 8 km/h over the limit is $98, 9 km/h over is $102 and 10 km/h over is $105.
Like in most other provinces, the fine is doubled in school zones and construction sites.
Going 50 km/h over the limit on a normal road is $474 and four demerits – if you go any faster than that, you could face a maximum fine of $2,300, six demerits, a mandatory court appearance and a licence suspension of up to 90 days.
So do police actually give out the minimum ticket? Last year, an Alberta man’s girlfriend griped on Facebook when he got a ticket for going 1 km/h over the limit after he passed a police car that was going 100 km/h.
While the RCMP estimated that he was going 10-15 km/h over the limit, the ticket was thrown out because it said they’d measured his speed by radar.
Between April, 2016, and March, 2017, there were 106,088 convictions in Alberta for going 1-15 km/h over the speed limit, the province said. That’s out of a total of 296,640 convictions.
How low can you go?
We checked with each province and territory – it turns out that Alberta’s $78 isn’t the lowest for Canada.
The lowest is Ontario at $17.50 for 1 km/h over the limit.
If you pay the ticket without fighting it in court, it’s a $2.50 set fine per kilometre (up to 19 km/h) plus $15 in fees – and zero demerits.
Next is Yukon ($32.50 plus two demerits), Quebec ($45 plus zero demerits), PEI ($51.50 plus three demerits), Nunavut ($58 plus two demerits), Newfoundland (a starting fine of $65 and zero demerits) and the Northwest Territories ($68 plus two demerits).
With the exception of PEI, these numbers all include the additional court fees and surcharges.
It gets steeper in the other provinces, ranging from $138 plus two demerits in B.C. to $233.95 – the highest – plus two demerits in Nova Scotia.
Manitoba is the only province that doesn’t list fines for speeding less than 10 km/h over the limit.
While Ontario starts low, speeding over 50 km/h above the limit can get you a $2,000 to $10,000 fine under the province’s street-racing law.
And that’s not the highest we found on the books – in New Brunswick, fines for going 50 km/hr over the limit range from $604 to $24,604.
The fine print?
Depending on your province, finding a list of fines on provincial websites can be tricky. Some, like Newfoundland, list the fines in their Highway Traffic Act. Others, like British Columbia, list them in separate schedules. In Alberta, the fines are found in a booklet that you can order, but they’re not listed on the province’s website.
Have a driving question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: “Driving Concerns.” Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are and we’ll find the answer for your city and province.
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