This is one of the most commonly asked questions that I receive as a lawyer: should I dispute a speeding ticket? Every day, numerous people who want to keep their driving records traffic ticket free call me to ask about disputing a speeding ticket and whether it is worth it to file the ticket in dispute.
The purpose of this blog post is to give you a little more information about whether you should dispute a speeding ticket in BC.
In British Columbia, the consequences of a speeding ticket can sneak up on you. Most people do not realize it, but a traffic ticket can have a lot more consequences than just the fine. This is why people should dispute a speeding ticket if they receive one in British Columbia.
First, any speeding ticket you get other than a ticket from a camera will carry three penalty points. The three points could trigger consequences like the Driver Penalty Point Premium, or the Driver Risk Premium. These are significant fines on top of the cost of the ticket, that can impact you for up to three years after you received the ticket.
The points for any speeding ticket are always the same: three points. This means that it will take at least two speeding tickets before you have to pay the Driver Penalty Point premium. However, excessive speeding tickets also carry a “high-risk offence” status, meaning that they trigger the Driver Risk Premium for just a single ticket. At over $300 a year, for three years, this is a significant consequence.
Excessive speeding applies any time you are travelling in excess of 40 kilometres an hour above the speed limit. In those circumstances, your vehicle will also be towed and impounded for seven days. You will be responsible for the towing and storage costs for the vehicle in an excessive speeding ticket case.
Frankly, it is cheaper to hire a lawyer than to pay the fines and premiums associated with a single excessive speeding ticket. So it is often worth the investment to hire a lawyer to dispute a speeding ticket in BC as if you succeed you will pay less than if you simply paid the ticket.
In addition to the premiums associated with the points, speeding tickets in British Columbia can also trigger driving prohibitions. This is because even one ticket can cause you to get a driving prohibition, depending on the circumstances. So you want to keep your driving record free of traffic tickets in order to ensure that you do not run the risk of losing your license.
Disputing a speeding ticket in British Columbia is also important if you get your insurance through ICBC. While this may not be as much of a concern for out-of-province drivers whose insurance is not impacted by speeding tickets they receive in BC, for drivers in British Columbia even one speeding ticket may trigger insurance increases.
Of course, this depends on the type of ticket that you receive. Currently, the ICBC regulations state that your insurance rates will go up if you get one ticket for excessive speeding or two regular speeding tickets. That is why it is always in your interest to keep your record free of traffic tickets and ensure that you dispute any ticket you get.
So the answer is simple. If you want to avoid the consequences of at least three penalty points, potential premiums, possible license suspension, and insurance increases, then you should dispute a speeding ticket in BC.
Don’t let a speeding ticket haunt you on your driving record for years to come. Dispute your ticket.