Want to keep out of a traffic cop’s radar? Get married

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew

If you're planning to use Valentine's Day to pop the question to your significant other, here's a bit of information to help you sweeten the deal: cheaper auto insurance.

InsuranceHotline.com, which helps consumers shop for the best rates, has released some data on the impact being married has on insurance rates just in time for the day the big, relationship-fraught day.

The Canadian site's number-crunchers looked at traffic tickets issued to clients in their database and found that married people received fewer citations than people living common-law or who were divorced or single, according to CTV News.

Married people make up 41 per cent of the portal's million-person database but account for only 14 per cent of tickets, based on sample data mainly from Ontario, Alberta and the Atlantic provinces.

Divorced drivers received 18 per cent, singles - 46 per cent of those in the database - 20.8 per cent and common-law partners, who make up only 6.5 per cent of people in the database, got 21.3 per cent of the citations.

InsuranceHotline.com director Tammy Ezer, who conducted the study, said age is probably a factor in the better track record of married people, along with the fact parents probably drive more safely when their kids are in the car.

Ezer suggested the data might help bolster the pitch for anyone making a marriage proposal this Valentine's Day.

"I think there's probably a pretty frugal guy who's been sitting on the fence and will use this as a push to pop the question," she said Thursday.

Police don't keep track of the marital status of miscreant motorists, so it's hard to corroborate the study's results.

And relationship expert Cynthia Loyst says it appears to discriminate against common-law drivers, whose family arrangements often are similar to those of married people.

"While this study may reveal some truths about how our marital status impacts our driving, it begs the question, So what?" Loyst, who co-hosts the TV show InnerSPACE, told CTV News.

"I don't believe that just because someone's common-law status makes him or her a more risky driver, that (they are) going to decide to get legally hitched in the hopes it will fix their driving woes."