The really bad speeding tickets
Some speeding tickets are bad and some are really bad. What we mean by that is that some tickets will have a more profound impact on you going forward if you end up with it on your driving record. The stigma you may experience with a simple speeding ticket is nothing compared to that for any of the really bad speeding tickets.
It’s important to remember who will see your driving record. You may be forced to disclose your driving record to your employer. Police officers in the course of their duties may review your driving record. ICBC and the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can review your driving record for the purpose of insurance and to consider you for some sort or intervention such as a driving prohibition.
The stigma of the really bad speeding tickets is obviously worse in these contexts. It’s not just the embarrassment. It’s also the potentially costly repercussions. So let’s discuss each of these offences.
Speeding in a construction zone:
Section 140 of the Motor Vehicle Act lays out the offence of exceeding the speed limit in a construction zone. The fines are higher than for simple speeding, either $196.00 or $253.00 depending on how fast you were going.
It’s very common for people to speed in a construction zone. Many drivers feel the speed limit is too low, or they forget because it’s a road they drive regularly, and they are accustomed to the normal speed limit. Often drivers assume, because they don’t see anyone working, that the special speed limit doesn’t apply.
The reason that speeding in a construction zone is a really bad ticket is because on your driving record it states the offence and it makes you look selfish. It makes you look like a person who disregards the safety of construction workers. Remember that construction workers are people who work to improve the roads for everyone, so this conviction gives the impression that you are anti-social and lacking empathy.
Section 148(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act defines excessive speed starting as a speed 41 kph over the speed limit. The fines are significant, either $368.00 or $483.00 depending on how fast you were going. In addition to the fine, there is driver risk premium assessed and the vehicle impound charges. On top of that, because it’s a high-risk offence, there is automatic Driver Risk Premium.
Excessive speed tickets hurt. Most people report that the final total for an excessive is over $5000.00 when you factor in all the consequences that unfold in the years following, such as increased insurance premiums. But that doesn’t include the stigma of the ticket.
More than any other offence, the police will go public on Twitter or in the media when a person is stopped for excessive speed. If it’s a second excessive speed ticket, they will almost always go public with a photo of the vehicle. This is very embarrassing. When the ticket appears on your driving record and you need to try to explain it to a potential employer is where the unexpected costs can add up.
Think about this: if you are a potential employer and you have two equally qualified people applying for a position that involves any driving, and one has a high-risk offence on their driving record and the other doesn’t, who are you more likely to offer a job? That’s right. If you factor in the lost job opportunities, an excessive speeding ticket can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost opportunities to earn.
Speeding in a school zone:
MVA section 147 deals with the offence of speeding in a school zone. The higher fines of $196.00 and $253.00 are small potatoes compared with the implications of this conviction on your driving record. What does this really bad speeding ticket say about you?
It’s a very common ticket and the police are reluctant to issue it because it is so embarrassing. The reason it’s common is because people forget that the speed limit changes, both at the location and during the hours and of course during the school year. The speed limit, 30 kph, is usually clearly signed but if you’re not paying close attention, you will probably just drive at what feels like a safe speed.
For a single day at the beginning of the school year, police at some locations may issue warnings to drivers who are not too far above the speed limit. In a sense this adds to the stigma because, if you get a speeding in school zone ticket, there is an assumption that you were either warned before and you disregarded the warning, or you were so flagrantly flouting the law that the police would not issue you a warning.
It’s for this reason that the stigma is arguable worse if you get this ticket at the beginning of the school year.
And of course, this is an offence that, when recorded on your driving record makes you look not just selfish, but a risk to children. Although there might not have been a child in sight at the time, anyone reviewing your driving record will assume that you drove dangerously when 6-year old children were crossing the street in the rain.
Often, when we speak to the police about our client’s current matter, they will bring up the old conviction for speeding in a school zone to explain why they will not be lenient in the current case.
Avoid a conviction, avoid the stigma
Without a doubt, some speeding offences are much more personally damaging than others. If you have recently been issued one of these tickets, you are probably already worried about the consequences.
We can’t turn back time. Often, however, we can take steps to help you avoid getting a conviction on your driving record for one of these offences.
If you’ve been issued one of these really bad speeding tickets, contact us right away. As we like to say, if you got caught, call us. We’re the original BC Driving Lawyers and we defend every type of speeding ticket.