Speeding Ticket Definitions

Definitions and terms used for speeding.


Any rate of speed of a vehicle more than the posted speed limit for that particular location of the roadway.

Speeding is defined in the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. Read more on definition and law on speeding >


The highway includes the traveled portion of the roadway from one side of the sidewalk to the other side, and includes the term roadway and road.

Highway is another term used for roadway and includes 400 series and other highways.


“vehicle” includes a motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor, road-building machine, bicycle and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of power, including muscular power, but does not include a motorized snow vehicle or a street car

Motor Vehicle

“motor vehicle” includes an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor-assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine;


Means a Justice of the Peace for the Province of Ontario. A justice of the Peace is the judge who presides over traffic court matters including speeding tickets in Ontario.

Provincial Prosecutor

Provincial Prosecutor is the person who prosecutes in traffic court. The Provincial Prosecutor may be a lawyer but is not required to be. In criminal court this position is called the Crown Attorney.

Strict Liability

Absolute liability is a standard of legal liability found in law.

To be convicted of an ordinary crime, in certain jurisdictions, a person must not only have committed a the action, but also have had a deliberate intention or guilty mind (mens rea). In a crime of strict liability (criminal) or absolute liability, a person could be guilty even if there was no intention to commit a crime.

The difference between strict and absolute liability is whether the defence of a mistake of fact is available: in a crime of absolute liability, a mistake of fact is not a defence.

Strict or Absolute Liability- also can arise from inherently dangerous activities or defective products that are likely to result in a harm to another, regardless of protection taken. Negligence is not required to be proven.


A speed measuring device using radio waves to measure the speed of a moving vehicle. See Radar Speed Enforcement >


A speed measuring device using light to measure the speed of a moving vehicle. See Laser Speed Enforcement >


Another word for laser speed measuring, Lidar means Light detection and ranging.

Speeding Ticket Case Law

Previous rulings from Ontario courts that may be used to give examples of other rulings of Justices or others.

Fatal Error

A fatal error is an error or mistake on a speeding ticket that upon review by the justice, the justice would cancel the ticket because it is not properly before the court.

Atourn to Jurisdiction

Means that by appearing in court the defendant has responded to the ticket.

Certificate of Offence

The Speeding Ticket, the original ticket that the police officer prepared, not the copy that was given to the driver. The Certificate of Offence has to be complete and regular on its face. See mistakes on speeding tickets >

Filing Date

The speeding ticket must be filed at the court within seven (7) days of the police officer issuing the ticket. The court upon receiving the ticket then stamps the ticket with the date. This date that the ticket is stamped is called the filing date.

Date of Service

The date the police officer gave the ticket, which may not be the date the driver was caught speeding.

Part three (3) Summons

The police officer has two types of tickets they can issue, a ticket with a fine on it or a summons which commands the driver to appear in court to answer to the charge. Part three summons are issued under the Provincial Offences Act and are usually given for more serious or high rates of speed.


The place, town or city where the offence occurred e.g. City of Toronto, Town of Newmarket ect. The jurisdiction must be listed on the ticket for it to be valid.

Testing Procedure

The police officer must test the speed measuring device before an after set up to the manufactures specifications to ensure that it is working properly.

Construction Zone

In construction zones the fines for speeding are doubled. The signage must be present and there must be workers visible.

Community Safety Zone

In community safety zones the fines for speeding are doubled. The signage must be present but there does not have to be children or students visible.


The police officers notes. See more on police disclosure >


The driver who is accused of speeding. In traffic court the accused is called “the defendant”, in criminal court the accused is called “the accused”


Quash is a term used by the justice to cancel the ticket based upon a fatal error on the speeding ticket. Has the same meaning as dismissed, the quashed means the ticket has been canceled on a technicality.

Out of Court Settlement or No Out of Court Settlement

The fine that is listed on the ticket is the out of court settlement.

If the driver disputes the ticket the justice may give a different fine other than the out of court settlement.