Just imagine the look on your face when you’re pulled over by a law enforcement and told that your licence has been suspended…
When it comes to driving, some of the rules are fairly simple. You must have a valid license to operate a vehicle, and you need to have the right auto insurance (sites like Kanetix.ca can help you find the best rate) in order to hit the roads. But as it turns out, you may be breaking these well-known rules without ever realizing it if you live in Ontario.
Thousands Of Licenses Suspended
According to The Ottawa Citizen, thousands of drivers have been without a license or insurance and are completely unaware. This usually happens when a driver receives a ticket but fails to pay the fine on time. In those situations, the driver’s license is suspended. And if the driver still fails to pay, or pays late but doesn’t pay an additional $198 fee to reinstate their license, the license is canceled.
For drivers who reach that stage, they must return to Ontario’s graduated-licensing system and start from the very beginning.
When speaking with The Citizen, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé commented that the majority of Ontarian’s in this situation were simply unaware of the reinstatement fee. He faults the system for poor communication.
How This Impacts Everyone
Dubé shared the story of ‘Mike’ — his name had been changed for anonymity — who received a ticket while driving his mother to receive treatment for cancer. Sadly, Mike’s mother passed away and Mike neglected to contest the ticket as planned, or pay the fine.
Mike’s license was then suspended, and unfortunately, while the notice of his suspension was in the mail, got into a car accident and slapped with a lawsuit. Because of his invalid license, his insurance company wanted no role in the case.
However, Mike’s case afforded him an extension. He appealed the ticket and won, ensuring the insurance provider would defend him.
If Mike had remained uninsured and lost the lawsuit, he likely would have been bankrupt and the plaintiff would have only received pennies in compensation.
The Response From The Province
As a result, the province announced at the end of September they would be modernizing the driver’s license system. Through an investigation, they discovered that thousands of the suspension notices they send are returned, undelivered, each year. However, the Ministry of Transportation does not track this returned mail and therefore has no record of who never received their notice.
The province also plans on revising the communication materials sent out to ensure drivers are made clear they are unable to drive due to a suspended or canceled license. The ministry will also remind drivers of any licence suspension or defaulted fines when they renew their licence stickers, which is done every one or two years.
What You Should Do
If you’ve received a ticket in the past few years and were unable to pay on time, you can check the status of your driver’s license online through the Ministry of Transportation. If your license was suspended, you’ll need to reinstate it immediately. If it was canceled, you’ll be required to return to the graduated-licensing system. Once you have your license back, be sure to check the rates of Ontario’s car insurance providers to ensure you have the best policy for your car.
Keep The Police Off Your Back When Driving, Follow The Rules
You should always obey the rules when on the road, except when you don’t. What then?
We tend to take many things in life for granted, and being able to jump in the car to trot off to wherever we want to go is definitely is one of them. But it’s important to understand that being able to get behind the wheel anytime you want is a privilege rather than an automatic right.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to disobey the rules from time to time, often at the peril of their license. Heck, most of us have been in a rush to get somewhere, and it’s usually during these frantic times that we get pulled over by the police for speeding, nipping through the lights a little bit late, or getting involved in an accident caused by our haste.
- You Could Be Driving Without A License And Not Even Know It
- 5 Valuable Lessons Everyone Should Learn From Car Accidents
Always remember that no matter your life circumstances, good driving and courtesy on the road are important for all. The rules weren’t meant to be broken.
Traffic OffencesLoss of Licence
The loss of your driving licence can be an inconvenience for some and an absolute tragedy for others, often potentially leading to loss of employment and the subsequent loss of income. If and when you are charged by the police with a serious traffic infringement, the wisest course of action will be to immediately get in contact with reputable traffic lawyers to get reliable information and get advice on your situation to mitigate any damages. For you to have the best chance of defending yourself and keeping penalties and suspensions to a minimum, starting work on your defence early is of vital importance.
Knowledge is Power
As mentioned, traffic law is incredibly detailed and complex, with very few lay people adequately able to fully understand its finer details. A legal professional, who specialises in traffic law and offences, will have taken the time to digest every aspect of it, and bringing that knowledge to bear on a case can have a very dramatic impact on the outcome.
Obviously the best preventative measure is to respect and obey the rules at all times, but being human means this is not always possible. Sometimes, we find ourselves with a problem because we reacted incorrectly to the actions of another motorist, or a child running out into the road unexpectedly.
Mitigation is a very important aspect of the defense of any case in court. If your licence is potentially in danger, ensuring a professional defense and full explanation of your personal circumstances may well be the difference between losing your licence, or staying behind the wheel.
Easy DIY Car Maintenance: Changing Tires, Replacing Air Filters
With some learning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can save hundreds of dollars every year by being your own mechanic.
We’re always looking for ways to stick within our budgets and save money, and maintaining our car is one of the major expenses month-to-month. Whether it’s paying for gas or routine maintenance, things can add up quickly.
The good news is that not everything requires a visit to your dealer. In this article, we cover two common maintenance procedures — changing tires and replacing air filters — that, with a little knowledge about your model of car, you can do yourself to cut expenses. We’d like to thank Apple Valley Hyundai (Winchester, VA) for helping us with the technical details.
As a general skill, knowing how to change a tire is not only handy for emergencies, but it’s also keep your bank account fuller when putting on those winter tires or doing a tire rotation. All vehicles come with the necessary tools you need to accomplish this task, including a jack, lug wrench, and replacement tire. Wheel chocks, gloves, and a short piece of 2×4 wood are also good accessories to have on hand..
You can find instructions on how to change a tire in your owner’s manual and untold numbers of YouTube videos, but we’ll go through the steps here as well.
- First, park in a paved, flat area and engage the parking brake. Apply the wheel chocks to the pair of tires you won’t be working with.
- Next, remove the hubcap with the flat end of your lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts about a half of a turn. These tend to be well secured, so extra force is normal to break them free.
- Place the jack under the vehicle atop the scrap 2×4, right beneath the frame next to the tire you’re changing. Most vehicles’ frames have a specific spot designed to place your car jack. Your Owner’s Manual will illustrate this. Place the scrap wood under the jack and raise the car about six inches up from the ground.
- Then, remove the lug nuts and place them in a safe place while you remove the tire. Pull the tire off the lug bolts, then set the tire on its side so it doesn’t roll away.
- Lastly, mount the new tire on the wheel studs and spin the lug nuts on finger tight. and push until the lug bolts show through the rim, then tighten the lug nuts on by hand. After this, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts securely and replace the hub cap.
- Congratulate yourself if this is your first time!
Replacing Engine Air Filters
Air filters are connected to the engine’s intake manifold and prevent debris and dirt from entering your engine’s combustion chambers. They should be changed once every twelve months or every 12,000 miles — whichever comes first. Here’s a quick procedure.
- Your owner’s manual details which model air filter you should buy, and they are available at any auto parts store.
- Under your hood next to or atop your engine you’ll see a black plastic box attached to a sizeable rubber hose. Usually several metal clips usually secure the top, and it simply needs to be popped open to remove the old air filter. If you can’t find your airfilter, Google it.
- Remove the old filter and install the new one. Snap the clips back into place and that’s it!
Doings these two simple car maintenance procedures yourself will undoubtedly help keep your car in a healthier shape while saving you some money. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Best Christmas Gifts For The Driver In Your Life
It doesn’t take a lot to warm the heart of the car lover in your life
Do you have an auto enthusiast in your life — you know, someone who drives not just for the sake of getting from point A to Point B or can’t stop thinking about their favorite classic or vintage car? If you answered “yes”, then there is no better time to get that individual an auto-themed gift for the holiday season.
While many people scramble to get loved ones the latest technology or fashionable clothing, you are in the position to be more creative and show appreciation for that car nut by getting him or her a car-related gift that speaks to their true passion.
Although it might not be the most glamorous present, the reality is that going through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) costs money, no matter where you live. It is true that the cost of registering a new car, registering a new (used) car, or renewing a license for an existing car don’t always cost the same. Nevertheless, these fees can still chip away at an individual’s bank account. So if you’re in the position of needing a gift for an auto enthusiast this holiday season, offer to foot the cost of a car registration or license renewal.
Your gift recipient will appreciate the offer, as it saves him or her the time and aggravation of going through an often tedious car registration process. In the end, he or she will be able to keep driving an old car without having to worry about re-registering, or your gift recipient can just get in a new car and go without having to worry about paperwork.
Is your car lover the impatient kind? If so, handling their car registration could go a long way to warm their hearts. It takes time, money, and admittedly patience to successfully go through the process of registering a vehicle, so having someone do the dirty work for you ca make life much simpler.
This holiday, instead of having your loved one stand in line for hours at the DMV, take care of the cost and burden of registering by pre-registering that individual’s car as a gift. Trust us, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Of course, in addition to buying DMV-related items for the car lover on your list, you might also want to treat him or her to something more fun, which can range from something generic like a car phone charging cable, to custom floor mats for that special vehicle in their life.
You could also consider signature badges and labels to make sure everyone knows what kind of car your gift recipient is driving, as well as gift certificates for custom parts, detailing, and car washes.
The holiday season can be stressful if you’re not sure what to get someone, but if you have a general idea of that person’s passions and interests, the task becomes much easier. For an auto enthusiast or even a new teen driver, giving the gift of car registration and car accessories goes a long way in helping them hit the road in the new year.
So, what are you getting your driver this holiday?