Careless Driving

Carelessly operating a motor vehicle on a highway, street


Careless Driving

Careless Driving Causing Bodily Harm or Death (Ontario)

Demerit Points



$400.00 – $2,000.00 plus court costs and victim fine surcharge

With bodily harm or death: $2,000.00 – $50,000.00 plus court costs and victim fine surcharge

Impact on Insurance Premiums

A conviction for Careless Driving carries serious ramifications with regards to insurance. Most insurance providers deem Careless Driving a major/serious conviction. Even if you have accident forgiveness, you must be aware that if you are convicted or plead guilty to this charge, you will face substantial increases in your insurance premiums or may be dropped entirely.  Regardless of your driving history, age or licence status the impact on insurance will be severe.

Other Penalties

Depending on the circumstances of a Careless Driving conviction, the Court has the ability to impose a fine and/or a period of imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 years. The Court may also impose a licence suspension and/or probation. The Ministry of Transportation must give Novice Drivers a licence suspension if convicted of Careless Driving.

As of September 1, 2018, when Careless Driving in Ontario results in bodily harm or death to a pedestrian or cyclist, the Court shall consider it to be an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.  Aggravating factors can result in a more severe sentence for the driver.

About The Offence

Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.

Effective September 1, 2018, Ontario made changes to the Highway Traffic Act regarding Careless Driving.  In addition to the increase in penalties where bodily harm or death occurs, the term “lack of reasonable consideration” has been deemed to be “driving in a manner that may limit his or her ability to prudently adjust to changing circumstances on the highway.”

This definition of “lack of reasonable consideration” might be viewed by the Court as an element of the offence in circumstances where adverse weather or traffic played a role in a collision.  Drivers charged with Careless Driving after September 1, 2018 must be aware of the changes to Ontario law.

Wherever you are charged with Careless Driving, you are always innocent until proven guilty. However, even if your accident wasn’t serious, that does not automatically create a defence to this charge.

The police officer may even have told you that he or she had no choice but to give you the ticket and you should just go to court to “get it reduced”.  However, at court it’s not up to the police officer to make the final decision about your ticket.

It’s your licence and insurance rates that are at risk. Careless Driving is a serious charge, with serious consequences and it will require a well planned defence. Your defense team at POINTTS has the knowledge and experience to identify the issues that are important to your case. Our priority is YOU! We want to help you avoid potential insurance premium increases and help keep your driving record clean.

What You Should Do If You’ve Been Charged

Contact POINTTS™ for a free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible to understand your options and get expert advice from a traffic ticket specialist.

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