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Insurance Guide

The five most common traffic tickets

Check this list and curb the dangerous (and costly) habits behind it

Published December 3, 2012
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Police in Canada give out a lot of traffic tickets every day, but six violations account for the majority of them. These common traffic tickets are a key reason Canadians see increases on their car insurance — and a blemish that stays on their driving record for three years and the driving habits that prompt them are also often to blame for traffic accidents. Here, according to Insurance Hotline, are the five most commonly ticketed violations:

1: Speeding
This is easily the most common traffic ticket in Canada, and in most cases it is considered a minor offence. Speeding is a bad habit many of us pick up due to our busy lives and schedules. Unfortunately, speed is often a factor in collisions, and the faster you are going when you strike another vehicle, the more serious the collision.
A speeding ticket will cost you a fine, which varies depending on the province and how far over the speed limit you were when you were caught. It could also cost you on your car insurance. Insurance companies can charge you for this all-too-common ticket for three years from the date that you are convicted, not the date that you received the ticket, and if you get another speeding ticket during that time, you could see your rates increase even more.

2: Failure to stop at a Stop sign
Most drivers are guilty of this one at some point in their driving career. When there’s no one else at the intersection, it can be tempting to just roll through. Unfortunately, it could mean a ticket if a law enforcement officer is present. Worse, if you missed something, such as a pedestrian crossing the street, this violation could become a tragedy.
Like a speeding ticket, this ticket can affect your insurance rates for three years.

3: Failure to wear a seatbelt
You are required by law to wear your seatbelt whenever you are in your vehicle. In fact, everyone in the vehicle must be wearing a seatbelt, and the driver can be held responsible for passengers under the age of 16. Although seatbelt use has increased in Canada since the laws were put in place, it remains one of the most common traffic tickets. Whether or not this ticket counts against your insurance rates depends on your province and the insurance company, but it is a large fine in every province.

4: Making an improper turn
Another traffic ticket commonly issued to Canadian drivers is for improper turns. These can include turning when it is prohibited and turning from the wrong lane. Because this type of behaviour makes it difficult for other drivers to anticipate your next move, it can be a very dangerous habit.
In addition to a fine for making an improper turn, you may see an increase in your insurance rates stemming from this ticket.

5: Running a red light
Drivers are always trying to beat the light and get to where they are going faster. Unfortunately, running a red light can easily cause an accident, causing you to strike another vehicle or even a pedestrian, and can also result in a traffic ticket that may be expensive both in fines and on your insurance. The installation of red light cameras has made it more likely that drivers will be caught when they run a red, and has helped make this dangerous habit one of the most top five most ticketed offences in Canada.

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