When it comes to car insurance rates, a number of factors go into calculating what you pay for a given level of coverage. Some of you have control over, others you don’t. The two factors you have the most influence over during your driving career are your accident claims and traffic offenses like speeding tickets, illegal turns, not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign etc.
There are lots of ways to keep yourself from being involved in common collision situations. By living a commitment to always paying attention behind the wheel, keeping your vehicle in good repair, and being courteous to other drivers and pedestrians, you may never have to file a claim for an accident for which you are at fault.
However, preventing accidents is only half of the good driving equation. Preventing getting demerit points against your licence is the other key factor within your control. If you are habitually speeding, always running five minutes late, impatient at stop signs, or prone to weaving in and out of traffic to try to “get ahead”, you could find yourself in the unenviable position of having too many demerit points after being pulled over by a police officer. If you accrue too many points, you may not only have your licence temporarily suspended, you could find your insurance premiums rising relentlessly as a result.
The Demerit Points
When you have accumulated between a total of eight to 15 demerit points, the Alberta government will mail you a courtesy notice of your perilous points standing. If you accumulate 15 or more points within a two-year calendar period, your licence will be automatically suspended for one month.
- If taken before you have accrued 15 demerit points, the successful passing of an approved defensive driving course can remove three demerit points. You may only do this once every two years.
- If you garner two suspensions due to demerit points within one year, your licence will be suspended for three months.
- If your record sustains three or more demerit suspensions within two years, your licence will be suspended for six months. You may be required to account for yourself in person at an office of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.
There are no appeals to a demerit point suspension short of proving your points were erroneously awarded to you or their total miscalculated. There is a provision in the law for requesting, in writing, a review of your driving record by ATSB’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring Branch for such administrative errors. They will not rehash the circumstances of your earlier traffic offenses.
Even after a demerit point suspension has been served, your licence will be reinstated with seven points remaining on it. To eliminate these residual points will take two years of clean driving from the reinstatement date. To get reinstated from any suspension you will have to have proof that all past traffic fines have been satisfied or put on a payment plan.
There are a number of various traffic infractions that will garner you a certain amount of demerit points, so always be familiar with your province’s traffic laws. Needless to say, being at risk of a demerit suspension of your license is not what you want if you’re looking to save money on your automobile insurance premiums.
Bow Valley Insurance of Alberta
Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary is a customer service-oriented independent broker of insurance products from as many as fifteen leading companies. Competition allows us to achieve savings for our clients, and our knowledge of the industry ensures you will also receive excellent coverage at all times.
If you need a renewal or new automobile insurance quote, contact Bow Valley Insurance today.