Does the punishment add up?
After getting a couple of tickets you can expect a letter from the BC Government telling you that they’re taking your license. Looking at your relatively good driving record you’re probably wondering, does the punishment add up?
The answer is no. It’s actually much worse than that.[pullquote]The secret of the rich people is that they know who to call. [/pullquote]
Trying to understand the equation that ICBC and RoadSafetyBC apply in determining that you’re going to suspend your license for points is not an exercise in arithmetic. For example, you can’t say that on the basis of two tickets you’ll get a four-month driving prohibition, or on the basis of three tickets it will be six. If that were the case, you probably wouldn’t be scratching your head right now. It would make some sense to everyone if they applied that type of arithmetic. But they don’t. The punishment does not add up.
There is no arithmetic involved. But there is mathematics.
Exponential increase in punishment
When, for example, a stop sign or speeding ticket is registered as a conviction, the computers at ICBC start whirring and some fairly complex software fires up to assess what duration of license suspension will be coming your way. Each type of ticket will trigger the software to act differently but in the end the important thing to know is that as you accumulate convictions on your driving record the length of the driving prohibition will expand exponentially. So instead of moving up in steps, the length of the driving prohibitions will increase in an exponential curve after considering a number of factors.
For example, any excessive speeding ticket can trigger a driving prohibition even for drivers with a very good driving record depending on the time between conviction and the years of driving experience. Two regular speeding and an excessive in a short period of time will guarantee a long prohibition – perhaps a year or more, where fail to signal and a speeding will likely trigger a short prohibition or no prohibition with a clear driving record and years of driving experience. But add another conviction, and you can expect a significant driving prohibition that otherwise wouldn’t add up at all.
Why does the BC government do it this way? From their perspective it’s cheaper to use a hammer to swat flies.
Does the punishment add up in a fair manner?
As we’ve indicated, strictly speaking it doesn’t add up but it’s even worse for the average person trying to get by from paycheque to paycheque.
When wealthy people have a problem they simply pick up a phone and get someone to help them with their problem. When it comes to a traffic ticket, usually what that means is calling their lawyer who may put them in touch with another lawyer. Many of our clients come to us this way.
People who are not rich often only consider two options: pay the ticket thereby putting both feet into the exponential quicksand of a driving prohibition from RoadSafetyBC, or disputing the ticket themselves.
The sad fact for the regular person
Most people who dispute their own ticket end up walking out of court with a conviction. Many of the people we see walking out of traffic court will be facing the exponential increase in punishment that flows from the conviction. This is a sad fact for a regular person.
Sadder yet is that most people could have a lawyer handle their ticket and save themselves the nightmare of a driving prohibition.
The secret of the rich people is that they know who to call. It’s not expensive to hire a driving lawyer but for the regular person it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. People who actually work for a living often don’t realize that it’s not expensive to hire a driving lawyer and the costs can save them from the exponential quicksand of a driving prohibition.
For the rich, hiring a driving lawyer is a bargain because the legal fees are the same, rich or not.
Protecting your drivers license
When you ask does the punishment add up, the important thing to recognize is that your drivers license has huge value in your life. A driving prohibition can cost you months of lost work, thousands of hours in difficult travel time or costly arrangements to get to where you need to be.
The punishment does not add up because with each conviction on your driving record the length of the driving prohibition increases mathematically rather than arithmetically. It’s much worse than addition. It’s an increasing painful burden that you can avoid with the right strategy.
If you’ve received a ticket or you have a notice of hearing date for one that you’ve disputed, give us a call and and we can discuss your options. As we explained, the fees are dirt cheap for the rich and very reasonable for regular people.
The punishment may not add up, but the answer to the complex mathematical question is that you should call a lawyer to get help with your traffic ticket or driving prohibition.
Call us now and we can get to work for you.