Wouldn’t it be great if every driver knew all the laws that govern our roads and highways? But, considering how many different regulations there are, from driving over the speed limit to seatbelt violations, we’d all need a law degree, or photographic memory, to even start to understand them.
Unfortunately, that means the majority of drivers don’t understand the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario and Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act. And that results in a number of myths surrounding what’s legal and illegal.
Highway Traffic Act Fines
Both Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) and Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act (TSA) assess set fines and demerit points for most driving infractions (accumulated demerit points appear on an offender’s driving record for a set period of time).
Considering the number of laws governing driving in both provinces, we can’t cover them all here. But we’ve listed the fines for some of the more common infractions.
HTA: Fines are assessed according to the rate of speed over the posted speed limit as listed on the traffic ticket. They range from $2.50 per km for driving from 1 to 19 km/h over the limit, to $6.00 per km for driving 30 to 49 km/h over the limit.
TSA: Fines range from $57 to $351, depending on the rate of speed.
HTA: Fines are no less than $200 and no more than $2,000
TSA: Fines range from $400.00 to $2,000 plus court costs and a victim fine surcharge
Fail to Remain
HTA: Fines range from $200 to $2,000
TSA: Fines range up to $2,000
Canadian Driving Law Myths
While there is no single set of laws governing roads and highways across Canada, many driving laws are common across the country, and so are the myths surrounding them.
- You Can’t Drive Barefoot – This may be one of the most powerful myths that many drivers will swear by. But, there are no laws anywhere in Canada that prevent you from driving barefoot.
- Funeral Processions Can Go Through Stop Signs and Red Lights – This one is understandable because most drivers have witnessed or been part of funeral processions that have done just that. It’s not legal per se, but is often allowed for larger processions, especially if they have a police escort.
- Cyclists Must Stay on the Extreme Right Side of the Curb Lane – If there’s one area of traffic laws that are misunderstood more than others, it’s those that relate to bicycle traffic. Bikes are considered vehicles just like cars and trucks. As such, they are subject to many of the same laws. This includes being entitled to use the entire lane, including the passing lane to make a left turn. Regulations usually stipulate that riders should stay as far right as safely possible, but they are not restricted from taking the entire lane when needed.
Check out our blog to learn more about driving laws and fines, including “What is the Penalty for Dangerous Driving”.