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Speeding offences

Who doesn’t feel the need for speed sometimes? However, we have speed limits for a reason. If you are found to go above and beyond the speed limit, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

Speeding can be punishable by both provincial and federal law. Every province and territory has their own traffic acts, which see speeding as a punishable offence.

If your speeding is serious enough, you can also be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada and if convicted you could face very stiff penalties.

Criminal Code of Canada

If you are found to have been speeding excessively, you could be charged under s. 249 of the Criminal Code. Drivers of cars fall under s. 249(a) of the Dangerous Operation of Motor Vehicles and Aircraft section.

This section states that it is an offence to handle a car in a way that is dangerous to the public. Speeding is considered a dangerous way to handle a vehicle, because it endangers the public.

The punishments are pretty severe. Even if convicted under a summary or lesser offence, you could still face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If you have been convicted under an indictable offence, you could face up to five years in prison.

It gets even worse if a person has caused bodily harm or death; they are convicted of an indictable offence and could face imprisonment of up to ten years. If convicted of having caused death, you could face up to fourteen years in prison.


Every province and territory has a form of a motor vehicle act. In these acts speeding is seen as a traffic violation.

Provinces and territories often issue traffic tickets for speeding violations, which can result in a fine and the deduction of demerit points.

It should be noted there is a difference between speeding and excessive speeding. While tickets will be issued for both, excessive speeding carries a much steeper punishment.

For example, in British Columbia, the punishment for excessive speeding is the following:

  • Exceeding the driving limit by more than 40 km/h — $368 fine plus the driver will receive three penalty points on his or her driving record.
  • Exceeding the driving limit by more than 60 km/h — $483 fine plus the driver will receive three penalty points on his or her driving record.

If you were speeding, but not excessively, in a school zone, municipal lane, highway, road, et cetera, you will still face a three-demerit point punishment, although the fine will be considerably less. Keep in mind that excessive speeding could see you get charged under the Criminal Code, especially if you caused harm to another person.

Other consequences

If you are found guilty of speeding, whether under criminal or provincial law, then your insurance premiums will definitely go up. It is also likely that your license will be suspended, especially if you are charged under the Criminal Code. You could also see your vehicle being impounded at cost to you.

As you can see, speeding, especially excessive speeding is treated quite harshly by the law. Do yourself a favour, slow down.

If you have been issued a traffic ticket for speeding you may want to consult a lawyer. If you have been charged under the Criminal Code of Canada, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Read more:

Speeding Tickets 101 - Nova Scotia

Speeding tickets - what they cost beyond the fine