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Careless Driving Ticket? A Lawyer Can Help

A careless driving ticket is among the more common traffic violations. But what exactly does careless driving mean?

The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario defines careless driving as driving a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway. Careless driving also carries a hefty penalty with a fine of $490 dollars and 6 demerit points. However, if issued as summon to court, then a suspension and possible imprisonment may apply.

A police officer may issue a careless driving ticket if they witness a driver performing an action on the road that shows carelessness and could potentially cause an accident, even if it did not. Because careless driving has so much room for interpretation and relies on the officer’s judgment, most people consider fighting the ticket in court. But if you choose to fight a careless driving charge, the burden of proof is on you.

There’s a lot at stake with a careless driving ticket and a lawyer or professional representation can make a big difference in your success.
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A careless driving ticket can be issued in a wide range of scenarios from failure to make a complete stop to fatal accidents. Some careless driving charges can be easy pickings for police officers, but the cost to the driver is real.
Because there is a reverse onus charge in a careless driving ticket for the driver to explain and provide evidence that shows why they were not careless, it is vital to seek legal representation in these types of cases.

What Is Classified as Careless Driving?

According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, careless driving is when a driver’s lack of attention affects their driving "without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons.” Drivers charged with careless driving face fines, demerit points and in some cases, have their license suspended. Drivers also face an increase in their car insurance rates.
There can often be a lot of room for interpretation on the behalf of the police officer when it comes to determining what qualifies as careless driving. Unlike a speeding ticket, which is based on hard evidence from the radar, careless driving violations can be issued in a variety of situations where the officer feels a driver was not using the care and attention needed to drive safely.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Since a careless driving ticket is subjective, a lawyer will analyze the details of your case and listen to your explanation to determine whether your violation really meets the statutory requirements appropriate for a charge of careless driving. Even if your charge has merit, a lawyer may be able to negotiate with the court to reduce your charges and even your penalties.
If you have received a careless driving ticket, you owe it to yourself to fight to have your charges dismissed, or at least reduced. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to provide you with effective representation for a fair outcome.
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