What is the Charge for Dangerous Driving in Canada?

Do you want to know what is the charge for dangerous driving, especially in Canada? First, you need to understand that reckless or careless driving puts you and other Canadians at risk. According to the data from Statista, the number of drivers killed in traffic collisions was 960 in 2018, but was as high as 1,155 in 2009.

This proves that dangerous driving is one of the common hazards posed to road users, including drivers. You want to be safe from the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

In this article, you will find out possible outcomes of engaging in negligent driving in Canada.

Dangerous Driving in Ontario

Ontario receives the most cases of reckless driving. Little wonder why the government has put strategic plans in place to regulate this rising malaise.

The Highway Traffic Act an Ontario careless driving are two parallel lines that cross. The Act, according to Wikipedia, is a legislation that regulates the licensing, classification of traffic violations and other vehicle-related offences.

The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) also helps to regulate the rules of the road. In Part X of the HTA Section 133 to 191, provisions were made for the regulation of speed limits, the contracts of carriage and overtaking & passing rules.

What is Careless Driving in Ontario?

Careless or dangerous driving refers to a sort of driving that endangers the lives and properties of others. This includes when the (accused) driver doesn’t take care to maintain the right lane, thereby, creating a bad driving experience for other road users.

What is the Penalty for Dangerous Driving in Canada?

Before you can be charged for dangerous driving, certain factors must have been considered. First, the dangerous driving must have taken place in a public place, where there is a likelihood of getting road users hurt.

Second, careless driving is booked when the law enforcement establishes the intent of the careless driver to endanger the lives of others.

Third and most important, there must be witnesses to confirm that the careless driving actually took place.

With that being said, here are some of the penalties for being a dangerous driver in Canada:

  • Jail-term: Reckless drivers will be jailed, if found guilty of the dangerous driving. They could go away for 5 years, but not more than that.
  • Criminal Record: Most cases of dangerous driving end up fetching the drivers a criminal record, which could span for life.
  • Fine: Reckless drivers are also fined, which can be anywhere between $400 and $2,000.
  • Increased Insurance Premium: There is usually a dramatic increase in the rates paid on car insurance after conviction.
  • Criminal Probation: Reckless drivers, after conviction, can be placed on a criminal probation to be certain they aren’t going to commit another dangerous driving offence.

The Stages to Dangerous Driving

The dangerous operation of a motor sentence can be classified based on the number of times the offence was committed.

Here are the common stages to dangerous driving and their associated penalties.

1.    Careless Driving Penalties

This is the first stage of dangerous driving and is the least strict. Here, the offender (careless driver) is found guilty of driving carelessly on the road with disregard for the lives of other road users.

The penalties for careless driving include:

  • A fine between $400 and $2,000. The fine can be higher, depending on the jurisdiction.
  • Mandatory suspension of the driving license, for at least a year.
  • Up to six (6) demerit points on the driving license.
  • Up to six months of jail-term. It is also possible to go to jail and pay the fine at the same time.

2.    Penalties for Impaired Driving

Careless driving ticket can also be issued when drivers have been found guilty of impaired driving in Canada.

It is the second type of dangerous driving offence and doesn’t usually come with an increased minimum penalty.

However, the careless drivers can be subject to receiving a period of incarceration.

3.    Penalties for Careless Driving Causing Bodily Harm

In September of 2018, a new careless driving offence was added to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). The new offence’s provision stipulated specific penalties for careless driving causing bodily harm.

Drivers convicted of driving without reasonable care to other drivers and ending up causing injury or bodily harm would get the following penalties:

  • Serving a minimum jail-term of 4 months (120 days). Careless drivers risk up to 2 years of jail-term for summary conviction.
  • Paying a fine up to $5,000.
  • Six (6) demerit points that stay on the license up to 3 years.
  • Possible suspension of the driving license, up to five (5) years.

How Bad is a Careless Driving Ticket?

Getting a careless driving ticket can impact the premiums you pay on your car insurance. The auto insurance company would want you to pay a higher rate because you are now considered a “high-risk policyholder.”

You may also spend quality time doing other things, rather than what you would have loved doing. For example, getting convicted can lead to you taking a driver improvement course, going away to serve a jail-term or losing your driving license.

It is definitely not something you want. So, now that you know what is the charge for dangerous driving, let us talk about how to avoid it.

How to Fight Careless Driving Charge in Ontario

If you have been booked for dangerous driving, the right thing to do is to explore your options. Sometimes, you will find an opening that will help you figure out how to win a careless driving ticket.

These are some of the conditions upon which your argument can be admitted and your charge dismissed:

1.    Find out if the Officer Made a Mistake in the Booking

Take your time to find out what you were booked for because it is how to get a careless driving ticket dismissed Ontario.

Sometimes, it happens that the law enforcement officer booked you for dangerous driving, simply because he thought you were driving carelessly.

If you can establish that your charge wasn’t right, the charge may be dismissed. Getting a careless driving ticket is subject to some factors, including:

  • That the vehicle was defined in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
  • You had the intention to commit the dangerous driving action.
  • Witnesses confirmed that the driving action was dangerous or careless.

2.    Get the Charge Downgraded

The charge for dangerous driving can also be downgraded to a careless driving with no criminal conviction. You need to contact a professional and licensed legal representative to help you fight the charge.


Dangerous driving is one of the Highway Traffic Act arrestable offenses. It is expected of you to “drive with due care and attention to other drivers.” That way, you keep safe from getting a careless driving ticket in Canada. If for some reason you were booked, it is also possible to question the intent of the driving action you were booked. You can also question the factual evidence presented to back up the charge. With the help of your lawyer, you can be able to win a careless driving charge in Canada.


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