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?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 31, 2020 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


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)


  • 1
    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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 11:24

She didn't pay the ticket, and more than one year later nothing has happened at all. No problems at the border and no letters etc. afterwards. Still not sure about entering Canada again, but apart from that everything's fine.

  • 3
    I suppose they still could come after her in the future, however.
    – phoog
    Aug 31, 2020 at 20:05
  • @phoog True, but after all this time I'd say it seems pretty unlikely.
    – MaxD
    Aug 31, 2020 at 20:06
  • 3
    Well I had a disputed tax bill with a US municipality from the early 1990s, and I never heard anything about it from anyone until maybe 15 years later when they sold the debt to a private debt collector who started badgering me for it. I stalled until the statute of limitations expired (which I knew was going to happen in a couple of years thanks to media coverage -- mine was not the only such account that was turned over to the debt collector).
    – phoog
    Aug 31, 2020 at 20:17
  • 2
    I've heard of people having to pay driving-related fines from another EU country years after the fact. Friend-of-a-friend so I don't know the details. I think it was because a legal agreement already been in place when the violation occurred, but the automated mechanism to share data was only put in place later. When the governments started sharing data, they collected the fines as far back as the statute of limitations allowed. Aug 31, 2020 at 20:24

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