What Happens on a U.S Highway Stays in the U.S? Not Exactly

When driving cross-border you might be tempted to cut the long drive short by going over the speed limit. After all, you’re just coming into the U.S for a quick visit, maybe just a short weekend getaway or shopping trip. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that any traffic tickets you get while in the U.S are invisible. Canada and the U.S have a reciprocal relationship when it comes to traffic violations. This means if you get a ticket in the U.S, specifically the states of New York and Michigan, you could see demerit points on your Canadian driving record.

What to do if you’re Pulled Over in the U.S?

Behave in a respectful manner as you would if you were being pulled over in Canada; signal, pull over to the shoulder, and have your licence and registration ready to show the officer. Do not dismiss the ticket or the officer simply because you are not a U.S resident.

Pay the Fine or Fight the Ticket?

Many Canadians assume paying the fine is less of a hassle because they don’t want to travel to take care of the ticket. We strongly suggest not accepting the ticket and just paying the fine. This would mean you plead guilty for the offence and your Canadian driving record could accrue demerit points. Contact X-Copper and we can discuss your options to fight the ticket.

Could my Insurance be affected by an Out of Province Ticket?

Absolutely! Any conviction you receive out of province or in the states of New York and Michigan could result in demerit points placed on your record. Those demerit points have the same repercussions as if caused by an in-province offence. In order to avoid higher insurance premiums it is advised to not ignore your tickets or to assume a guilty plea automatically without discussing your options.

Some examples of traffic offences outside Ontario that will add demerit points:
• speeding
• failure to obey a stop sign
• failure to obey a signal light
• failure to stop for a school bus
• racing
• failing to remain at or return to the scene of an collision
• careless driving

So if you’re planning on hitting the road cross-country or to the United States we suggest taking extra caution. If you’d been hit with an out of province ticket call X-Copper at 1-888-XCOPPER to discuss how we can help fight your ticket.




Lending Out Your Car

insurance

We have all been there. A friend, relative, or neighbour has politely asked us if they can “quickly borrow your car.” Refusing seems unjust if you don’t need it right at that moment but at the same time you are unsure of the potential ways that this decision could impact your own insurance costs or driving record.

The easiest way to resolve any confusion that you may have in this situation is to remember that if you hand over the keys to your vehicle, you are also handing over your insurance as well since auto insurance is not tied to the person but rather to the vehicle. If infractions occur while someone else is driving your car then it is you who could be held responsible.   However, this does not apply for traffic or criminal offence charges such as speeding or dangerous driving. In these cases the person who is driving the vehicle at the time is held accountable.

Breaking It Down

The owner of the vehicle is held liable for:

1)   Costs due to impoundment and towing of vehicle as well as being required to put in their own time in order to recover the vehicle.

2)   Parking ticket payments.

3)   Making sure that the car has valid insurance that is in good standing.

4)   Making sure that the borrower has a valid driver’s license and is legally allowed to drive – if they are not legally allowed to drive and get into a car accident, the insurance policy that is associated with the car could possibly become void. This would leave the registered owner of the vehicle responsible for any injuries and/or damages that were caused.

5)   Raised insurance premiums if there is an accident that the car is involved in.

The person driving the loaned car is responsible for:

1)   Minor traffic tickets, offences and/or charges that occurred while the vehicle was under their control– these offences are tied to a driver’s record and not a vehicle.

2)   Making sure that the car has valid insurance that is in good standing. If the car is not insured, you could be charged with operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

As we can see, responsibility lands heavily on the registered owner of the vehicle in the case of lending/borrowing a car. Before handing over your keys, remember that the decision could have serious financial ramifications for you as the owner and not to mention a potential stain on your insurance records. This is the most important thing to remember when you lend your car. Handing over your keys to anyone else means that you are also handing over your insurance. Someone else’s actions behind the wheel of your car have the potential to cost you both in insurance prices and possibly even your clean driving record.

Though it is both the lender and the borrower that should assume a shared general responsibility that the car loan transaction is lawful and safe, it is clear that the lender has a lot more on the line. Keep these things in mind the next time you are borrowing someone else’s vehicle and also if you are considering lending your vehicle to someone else.




QandA – Stunt Driving

“I got pulled over for stunting, but I was only speeding! Will the courts understand?”

QandANo. The charge of stunt driving / racing does not necessarily mean that you were racing another vehicle, or performing a stunt. This offence includes a number of different actions, one of which is speeding at a rate of at least 50km over the speed limit. If you are caught travelling in excess of 50km/h or more over the limit you may be guilty of stunt driving. Call us for a free consultation.