Demerit Points – An Effective Deterrent

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The phone continued to ring as I waited for the auto insurance company to pick up. Standing in our kitchen I was able to see out our window and into the driveway, where our brand new car sat glistening in the sun. It was a base model four door and, although brand new to my girlfriend and I, was actually a used car we had just bought. At the moment I was about to begin negotiating for better rates. As part of a well-known professional institute I realized that I could be eligible for lower car insurance premiums. I had started calling different providers to see if I could get a better deal and since the car was a used sedan, as opposed to a newer, sportier coupe I had already gotten some extremely low prices on quotes.

Factors that affect the car insurance quote rate

There are many factors that can affect the quote you get from a car insurance agency. Among these, one of the most heavily weighted is the number of demerit points you have on your license. Although some people will complain about this, it actually makes the roads a whole lot safer. For the large majority of drivers, a fine or a ticket is usually a big enough of a deterrent to drive as safe as possible, respecting road signs and speed limits and so on. Those drivers do not ask themselves how fast can I drive, they just drive as they feel. But, if the offender is relatively wealthy, a fine becomes a short-lived slap on the wrist and loses its ability to influence their behavior behind the wheel. This is why the demerit points system is one of the most effective mechanisms in use today when it comes to reducing unsafe driving practices. Linked with a specific region’s licensing framework, it leverages the threat of higher insurance premiums to influence the behavior of drivers. In graduated licensing frameworks it can slow, or completely stall a driver’s progress towards their next level – it is their purpose to keep the highways safe just like speed limiters keep driveways safe. Additionally, the presence of demerit points on one’s driving record may make police more inclined to dole out higher fines should a driver be pulled over for, say, speeding or perhaps failing to come to a complete stop at an intersection. Not all regions use the demerit points system although if a driver is convicted of an offence outside of the region where they are licensed they may still have demerit points put on their record. For example, if an Ontario driver is caught leaving the scene of an accident in Quebec, they will still be penalized as though the offence took place in Ontario. In some regions the points are added to your record, and in others they are subtracted from an original total. If you collect, or lose enough points you may have your license suspended.

The number of demerit points given for a particular offence as well as the length of time they will remain on a driver’s license is dependent on the region (state, province, or territory) in which the driver in question, the offender, has been licensed. It is important that drivers familiarize themselves with this system as it provides a solid set of guidelines for safe driving and promote the fear of car accident and has been designed to keep the broader population safer as well.

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