201604.10
0

Demerit Points: When Is It Game Over?

It may be all fun and games when racking up the points on your X-Box, but when it comes to driving avoiding those points – specifically demerit points – is no game.

Demerit points are recorded against your operator’s license, and one of the most common questions from drivers is how these points affect their ability to operate a vehicle. First, know what an offence will cost you in terms of demerit points – here’s a list of common traffic offences and the demerit points associated with them:

Description of offence (for convenience of reference only) Enactment and Section Number Traffic Safety Act Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation Demerit Points
1  Failing to remain at the scene of an accident 69(1) 7
2  Speeding- exceeding limit by more than 50 KPH 115(2)(p) 53(5)(c) 6
2.1  Speeding- exceeding limit by more than 50 KPH 115 (2)(p.1) 6
2.2  Speeding- exceeding limit by more than 50 KPH 115(2)(p.2) 6
2.3  Speeding- Exceeding limit by more than 50 KPH 115(2)(t) 6
2.4  Speeding- exceeding limit by more than 50 KPH 115(2)® 6
3  Careless driving 115(2)(b( 6
4  Racing 115(2)(c) 6
5  Bet or Wager 115(2)(d) 6
6  Fail to stop school bus, explosives at uncontrolled railway crossing 42(5) 5
7  Fail to stop for a peace officer 166(2) 5
8  Speeding- unreasonable rate 2(1)(a) 4
9  Speeding – exceeding limit by over 30 but not more than 50 KPH 115(2)(p) 53(5)(c) 4
9.1  Speeding – exceeding limit by over 30 but not more than 50 KPH 115(2)(p.1) 4
9.2  Speeding – exceeding limit by over 30 but not more than 50 KPH 115(2)(p.2) 4
9.3   Speeding – exceeding limit by over 30 but not more than 50 KPH 115(2)(t) 4
9.4  2  Speeding – exceeding limit by over 30 but not more than 50 KPH 115(2)® 4
10  Following to close 18 4
11  Failing to stop for a school bus 72(1) 6
12  Failing to notify owner:
a) Of an unattended vehicle damage in accident 69(2)(a) 3
b) of property damage in accident 69(2)(b) 3
13  Driver fail to make accident report 71(1) 3
14  Speeding – exceeding limit by over 15 but not more than 30 KPH 115(2)(p) 52(5)(c) 3
14.1  – exceeding limit by over 15 but not more than 30 KPH 115(2)(p.1) 3
14.2  – exceeding limit by over 15 but not more than 30 KPH 115(2)(p.2) 3
14.3  exceeding limit by over 15 but not more than 30 KPH 115(2)(t) 3
14.4  exceeding limit by over 15 but not more than 30 KPH 115(2)(r) 3
15  Improper passing in a school zone 8 3
16  Meeting and passing oncoming vehicle 14 3
17  Passing on hill or curve 19(1) 3
18  Passing when meeting oncoming vehicle 20 3
19  overtaking and passing 21(1) 3
20  Passing restrictions 23 3
21  Passing vehicle stopped at crosswalk 41(2) 4
22  Driving left of centre 12(1) 3
23  Driving wrong way on one-way highway 17 3
24  Impeding passing vehicle 21(2) 3
25  Impeding passing vehicle – multi-lane highway 22(2)(b) 3
26  Failing to yield right of way to a vehicle:
a) At intersection 30 3
b) AT “YIELD” SIGN 39 3
c) In traffic circle 40 3
d) At “merge” sign 50, 51 3
e) At green light 52(1), (3)-(5) 3
f) At flashing yellow light 53(3) 3
27  Failing to yield right if way to a pedestrian:
a) At alley entrance 36(3) 3
b) In a cross walk 41(1) 4
c) At a green light 52(1)-(5) 3
d) At a flashing yellow light (intersection) 53(3) 3
e) At a flashing yellow light (not at intersection) 53(4) 3
f) At flashing yellow light (with zone sign) 53(5)(d) 3
28  Failing to stop:
a) Before entering highway 36(2) 3
b) At “stop” sign 37 3
c) For vehicle sounding siren 65(1) 3
d) Following emergency vehicle to close 65(2) 3
e) At railway crossing 42(2) 3
f) Driving around barrier at railway crossing 42(3) 3
g) “stop” sign at railway crossing 42(4)(a) 3
h) Yellow light at intersection 53(1) 3
i) Yellow light – not at intersection 53(2) 3
j) Red light – at intersection 54(1)(a) 3
k) Red light – not at intersection 54(4) 3
l) Flashing red light at intersection 54(5)(a) 3
m) Flashing red light – not at intersection 54(6)(a) 3
29  Proceeding when unsafe
a) Entering highway at “stop” sign 38 3
b) “stop” sign at railway crossing 42(4)(b) 3
c) To pass school bus 72(2) 3
d) Red light at intersection 54(1)(b) 3
e) Flashing red light at intersection 54(5)(b) 3
f) Flashing red light – not at intersection 54(6)(b) 3
30  Stunting 115(2)(f) 3
30.1  Distracted driving – holding, viewing or manipulating cell phone, electronic device, etc 115.1(1) 3
30.2  Distracted driving – display screen visable to driver 115.2 (1) 3
30.3  Distracted driving – global positioning system 115.3(1) 3
30.4  Distracted driving – prohibited activities 115.4(1) 3
a) Reading or viewing printed material 3
b) Writing, printing or sketching 3
c) Personal grooming or hygiene 3
31  Speeding – exceeding limit by up to 15 kph 115(2)(p) 53(5)(c) 2
31.1  Speeding – exceeding limit by up to 15 kph 115(2)(p.1 2
31.2  Speeding – exceeding limit by up to 15 kph 115(2)(p.2) 2
31.3  Speeding – exceeding limit by up to 15 kph 115(2)(t) 2
31.4  Speeding – exceeding limit by up to 15 kph 115(2)(r) 2
32  Traffic lane violation:
a) Slow moving vehicle 3 2
b) Drive near center lane 2(1)(b) 2
c) Solid lines 15(1) 2
d) Unsafe lane change 15(4) 2
e) Failing to drive in middle of marked lane 15(5) 2
f) Straddling 2 lanes 15(6) 2
g) 3 lane highways 16(1) 2
h) Lane marked with “X” 27(4) 2
33  Failing to obey instruction of traffic control device 57 2
34  Slow driving impeding traffic 21(1)(c) 2
35  Driving at less than minimum speed 115(2)(q) 2
36  Failing to obey peace officer to increase speed, etc. 2(4) 2
37  Failing to signal:
a) When changing lanes 15(2) 2
b) Turning left or right 24 2
c) When stopping 35 2
38  Improper turns:
a) Right turns, various 25 2
b) Left turn, various 26 2
c) Turns controlled by traffic control device 27(1), (2) 2
d) U-turns 29,30 2
e) U-turn by school bus 31 2

Schedule 2

Additional Demerit Points Applicable to Novice Drivers

Description of offence (for convenience of reference only) Enactment and Section Number Demerit Points
1  Curfew Section 51(g) TSA 2
2  Having more passengers than seatbelts Section 32(4) and 33(8) Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulations 2
3  Supervisor not fully qualified Section 51(e) or (f.1) TSA 2

But what happens when you begin racking up those points? How do they affect your future as a driver in Alberta? Here are the consequences to accumulating demerit points for fully licensed drivers – straight from Transportation Alberta:

  • When a total of eight or more but less than 15 points have accumulated, you are mailed a courtesy notice of point standing.
  • When an accumulation of 15 or more points occurs within a two-year period, your licence is automatically suspended for one month.
  • When the suspension is the second demerit suspension within one year, your licence is suspended for three months.
  • When the suspension is the third or more demerit suspension within two years, your licence is suspended for six months. In addition, you may be required to appear before the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.
  •   There is no remedy or appeal against a demerit point suspension, unless it can be proven the demerit points were assigned in error. You may request to review your driving record on these grounds by making a written submission to the Driver Fitness and Monitoring Branch.
  • When a demerit point suspension has been served, the licence is reinstated with seven points. These points remain on your record until a period of two years from the assessed date has passed.
  • When two years have elapsed from the date of a conviction, the number of points assessed for that conviction are removed from your record. Remember, the date of conviction is the date that you actually pay your fine or are found guilty in absence, not the date that you received the fine.
  • If an approved defensive driving course has been successfully completed   prior to accumulating 15 or more points, a maximum of three demerit points may be removed from a driving record once every two years.

The consequences for Novice Drivers are equally serious:

  • When a total of four or more but less than eight points have accumulated, you are mailed a courtesy notice of point standing.
  • When an accumulation of eight or more points occurs within a two-year period, your licence is automatically suspended for one month.
  • When the suspension is the second demerit suspension within one year, your licence is suspended for three months and you will be directed to appear before the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.
  • When the suspension is the third or more demerit suspension within two years, your licence is suspended for six months.
  • When a demerit point suspension has been served, the licence is reinstated with three points. These points remain on your record until a period of two years from the assessed date has passed.
  • When two years have elapsed from the date of a conviction, the number of points assessed for that conviction are removed from your record. Remember, the date of conviction is the date that you actually pay your fine or are found guilty in absence, not the date that you received the fine.
  • If a defensive driving course has been successfully completed prior to accumulating eight or more points, a maximum of three demerit points may be removed from a driving record once every two years.

Demerit points are no laughing matter. If you believe you have accumulated demerit points unfairly, contact our office for a free ½ hour consultation. There are opportunities to fight the traffic tickets leading to these demerit points, and our firm can assist you in exploring the options.
Remember, demerit points can affect your future as a driver – and too many means it’s game over. Avoid losing the game – and stay ahead of those points!