A friend of mine who is an Austrian citizen is currently doing an internship on a Canadian farm and got issued a speeding ticket for going 140 km/h in a 100 km/h limit zone. For reference, this was one of these country roads that go straight ahead for hours at a time, so I completely understand. She was using the car of her employers who know about the incident and support her. She got stopped by a police officer on the spot and had to show her (Austrian) driving license, but was not asked for her passport or home address in Austria.

The fine is pretty hefty (about 400$) so she's thinking about not paying it and hoping that authorities won't track her down once she's back to Austria. She'll go back in about four weeks and got the ticket three days ago.

What are possible consequences if she decides to go through with this? Will the Canadian authorities be willing/able to prosecute her once she is back in Austria? Might there occur any problems when passing the border control at the airport? And, though this is not a concern at the moment, would she be able to enter Canada again at a later date without repercussions?

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    I would think the immediate problem will be trying to leave the country with an unpaid fine outstanding. Are you asking for advice on how to evade the law? Whether the fine was fair and just is irrelevant. – Weather Vane Jul 5 '19 at 13:40
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    You are evidently asking for advice on how to break the law and get away with it. – JoErNanO Jul 5 '19 at 13:52
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    @JoErNanO asking about the consequences of breaking the law is not the same as asking how to break the law. – mustaccio Jul 5 '19 at 13:53
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    @mustaccio that is exactly what is being asked: could she actually get away with this, in other words seeking on advice on whether it's worth breaking the law. The situation is made worse by the car belonging to the employer, so if they get to know, or are asked for payment, that's not good. – Weather Vane Jul 5 '19 at 13:56
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    I don't think this is off topic. We've had other similar questions. Just because it would be on topic at Law, doesn't preclude it being on topic here. Questions about how laws interact with foreign travelers are definitely on topic. – MJeffryes Jul 5 '19 at 15:37

In general, your friend would probably be well advised paying the fine or get a traffic lawyer, if they feel it's not justified.

It seems pretty clear that it is though.

In your comments you mention that the employer / owner of the car "supports" her, but it seems to me that they just don't care. I guess if she leaves within the normal window for paying the fine, there would not be a problem with leaving, but it can follow her home in form of a Rechtshilfeersuchen and the Austrian police are authorized to act on the Canadians' behalf, maybe also putting points on the licence if they use a similar procedure as defined in the EU regulations.

Disclaimer: I am not a Lawyer.


Agreement with Canada / Rechtshilfe in Strafsachen (Kanada)


  • Are you sure this agreement between Austria and Canada applies for speeding tickets? In article 1 it only says "Strafrecht" (criminal law) all the time, and I suppose a speeding ticket is covered by "Zivilrecht" (civil law)? As for the exact amount of support the employers would provide I'm not sure, but would it make any difference? – MaxD Jul 12 '19 at 11:09
  • I am not familiar with the Canadian laws, and I cannot make any guarantees about it. Just mentioning that there is a chance of it becoming a problem. At least in Austria, it works like this: Speeding tickets are first written up anonymously, as a so-called "Organstrafverfügung", and if it gets paid they won't take further action. If the person commiting the offence doesn't pay, they then make a criminal case. Since your friend got a ticket and was allowed to drive on, I'd assume it's similar in Canada. – JakeDot Jul 12 '19 at 11:14
  • Nevermind, I just realised I was wrong about what "Zivilrecht" is. So in Austria a speeding ticked definitely is covered by "Strafrecht" (to be exact, "Verwaltungsstrafrecht"). de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafrecht_(%C3%96sterreich) – MaxD Jul 12 '19 at 11:18
  • Also, not being asked for an address doesn't mean anything here, as if they decide to ask the Austrians for help, they have the driving licence, which is enough for that purpose, it's an ID the Austrians can identify her with. I'm a bit surprised they didn't ask for a passport, but in North America the licenses are usually a "real" government id as far as I know (they're not in the EU, by the way, you can't use them to cross borders even inside the Schengen zone). – JakeDot Jul 12 '19 at 11:22
  • I can't read it right now, but the teaser for this page at the German Ministry of the Exterior mentions possible problems returning to Canada with unpaid fines. auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/kanada-node/… – JakeDot Jul 12 '19 at 11:24

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