Where Do Canadian Drivers Get the Most NYS Traffic Tickets?

Canadia

As a border state with Canada, New York is a common road trip destination for drivers from Ontario and Quebec. It’s also a common place for Canadians to get traffic tickets. New data from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles shows which of the state’s 62 counties give out the most tickets to drivers with Canadian licenses.

While some counties such as Erie and Jefferson are obvious suspects, there are some surprising culprits on the list.

Canadian drivers would be mistaken to assume that a traffic ticket issued in New York is not a big deal. New York has a Reciprocal Agreement with Ontario and Quebec, which allows the provincial and state governments to communicate when a driver is convicted of a traffic offense. That means, in addition to the paying the fine, drivers who plead guilty to a NY traffic can end up getting demerit points assessed on their Canadian driver’s license. The ticket will also appear on one’s driving record, resulting in a potential auto insurance increase that can last for years.

NY Counties that Ticket the Most Canadians

Available data includes figures for Canadian drivers who received speeding, texting, cell phone, seat belt and driving while impaired tickets in New York State. We’ve added these figures so one can see which counties were ticketing the most Canadians based on available data.

According to the data, Jefferson County, which sits across the international border from Leeds and Grenville United Counties in Ontario gave out 1,589 tickets to Canadian drivers, the highest figure of any NY county. Erie, across from Canada’s Niagara Region, came in second, issuing 1,385 tickets to Canadians.

While other border counties such as Oswego, Clinton, and Chautauqua were also among the top 10, others, such as St. Lawrence and Franklin barely made the top half of the list. Most curiously, Orleans and Wayne counties ranked toward the bottom. Meanwhile, more southern counties such Broome, home to SUNY Binghamton, and Steuben handed out enough tickets to Canadians to rank among the top 10.

NY County Total NY Tickets issued to Canadians (2017)

speeding, texting, cell phone, seat belt and driving while impaired 

JEFFERSON 1,589
ERIE 1,343
ESSEX 1,077
CLINTON 982
WARREN 479
CHAUTAUQUA 478
STEUBEN 431
BROOME 409
CORTLAND 398
OSWEGO 280

NY Counties Where Canadians Get the Most Speeding Tickets

It should come as no surprise that speeding tickets are the most commonly issued ticket for Canadian drivers in the U.S.; after all, it is also the most commonly issued ticket in New York State overall. In 2017, Canadians received an estimated 11,027 speeding tickets in New York. In fact, speeding tickets make up 95% of all NY tickets given to Canadians for which there is data. Because of this, the list of counties that give out the most tickets, in general, is identical to the list of counties that give out the most tickets in general.

NY Counties Where Canadians Get the Most Non-Speeding Tickets

Canadians who don’t have a habit of speeding but who do commit other traffic violations such as texting and not wearing a seat belt might want to avoid Brooklyn and Manhattan. Those two counties gave out the most non-speeding tickets Canadians in 2017. In Brooklyn, almost 40% of those tickets were for seat belt violations. The rest were evenly split among cell phone and texting tickets. It’s worth noting that there was no data on driving while impaired violations in any of New York City’s five boroughs.

Beyond NYC, border counties such as Erie and Clinton give out the next-greatest amount of non-speeding tickets to Canadians. They are followed by Steuben, Essex and St. Lawrence.

County Total Non-Speeding
BROOKLYN 80
MANHATTAN 67
CLINTON 53
ERIE 42
QUEENS 36
STEUBEN 21
ESSEX 18
ST. LAWRENCE 16
CATTARAUGUS 11
ONONDAGA 11