I’m from British Columbia and I just got a ticket for stunting in Nova Scotia. It was my first time getting a ticket. I was distracted by the guys in the car with me and I had no clue that I was going more than 50 km/h over the speed limit. It’s a seven-day suspension, but the officer took my licence away from me. Was he allowed to do that? – Andrew
If you get caught going 50 km/h or more over the speed limit in Nova Scotia, the police are allowed to take away your licence.
“You don’t get it back; you have to go get a new one,” says Lisa Croteau, Halifax RCMP spokeswoman. “You won’t be able to drive in Nova Scotia for seven days.”
In Nova Scotia, going 50 km/h or more over the limit counts as stunting, and it comes with a $2,422.50 fine for the first offence, six demerit points on your licence and an immediate seven-day roadside licence suspension.
In 2018, there were 150 stunting charges in Nova Scotia. That same year, there were 19,093 charges for speeding up to 50 km/h over the limit.
Earlier this month, a woman was charged in Greenfield, N.S., for going 91 km/h over the speed limit – she was going 141 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.
And if you get caught going 50 km/h or more over the limit in Ontario, cops take your car and your licence for a week.
“Yes, we take the drivers’ licences and return it to the ministry,” says Kerry Schmidt with Ontario Provincial Police. “After seven days, you need to go back and get it reinstated.”
Does it count back home?
When it comes to licence suspensions, what happens in Nova Scotia likely stays in Nova Scotia.
“A B.C. driver’s licence would not be suspended when the driver returns to B.C.,” says Lindsay Wilkins, spokeswoman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), which handles licensing. “ICBC does not recognize administrative actions or non-Criminal Code of Canada motor-vehicle-related offences from other provinces.”
So, you’d just have to get a new licence when you get back home – even if the seven days weren’t up yet.
And that’s true for the rest of Canada. Typically, if you get a roadside suspension for provincial offences, such as speeding or distracted driving while in another province, it doesn’t count back home.
But if you’re convicted of a Criminal Code offence that comes with a suspension, including impaired driving, the suspension counts everywhere in Canada.
Also, unlike drivers in most other provinces, B.C. drivers who get tickets in other provinces don’t get demerits added to their licences back home.
That’s because B.C. – along with Quebec and Nunavut – didn’t sign the Canadian Driver Licence Compact (CDLC), a 1990 agreement to share driving records between the provinces and territories.
I am a mail carrier for Canada Post on Prince Edward Island, and I’ve heard that mail carriers can legally speed to get the mail out on time: “The Queen’s mail cannot be late.” I do not speed, but I’m wondering if it is one of those old, antiquated rules that never actually got abolished. – Kathy
There are limits to getting the mail out posthaste.
“In P.E.I., there is no law or exemption that exists for mail carriers or any other non-emergency vehicle,” says Graham Miner, director of highway safety with Prince Edward Island’s department of transportation, infrastructure and energy. “I have been with P.E.I.’s Highway Safety Division for 30 years, and this is the first time I have ever heard this rumour.”
We checked with the other provinces. We didn’t find any that allow mail carriers to break speed limits, or any other laws, to get you your flyers on time.
“Not sure where this comes from, but we can put it in the legend category,” said Farouk Karim, spokesman for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “Canada Post drivers, like all drivers, have to follow the law, including all road safety laws.”
Have a driving question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.
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