Driving in Alberta can be quite a challenge. With unpredictable weather conditions, mountainous terrain and more than 4 million residents living in cities such as Edmonton and Calgary, your daily commute can be met with demanding driving conditions. Especially if your route includes driving on Highway 63; a road that carries more heavy-load trucks than any other road in the entire country.
That’s why it is so important that you have a good auto insurance policy in place. And even more importantly, that you know all the laws and regulations that drivers in Alberta must follow.
Laws to be followed by drivers in Alberta
Just like everywhere else in Canada, there are necessary rules and laws that all drivers are required to follow. Things like following the posted speed limits, wearing your seatbelt at all times, not using cellphones while driving, and stopping at all stop signs. But there are also certain laws that only pertain to drivers who live in Alberta. You can find every single law that you are required to abide by in the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta. However, not everyone has time to read the whole thing! We have compiled a few of the most important driving laws that you must follow while in Alberta, and some laws that you may not be aware of.
Legal Driving Age
In Alberta, you must be a minimum age of 14 years old in order to receive your Learner’s Permit (also known as a Class 7 license). This level of driver’s license only allows you to operate a vehicle if a non-probationary driver over the age of 18 is in the passenger seat. Once you have turned 16 years old, and have at least a minimum of one year experience driving at the Class 7 level, you can apply for your Class 5 license.
Everyone knows how important it is to stop or pull over for an emergency vehicle that has its lights on. However, in Alberta, there is actually another layer to this rule that all drivers must follow. If you are passing an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road, it is the law to drive no faster than 60 km/h or at the posted speed limit, whichever one is slower. This includes tow trucks, so always be mindful of vehicles that are pulled over.
Side and rear view mirrors are of the utmost importance when driving, especially when on busy roads or highways with high speed limits. It is a legal requirement in Alberta to be able to see out of all of your mirrors. If the view from inside your rear-view mirror is blocked for any reason, you must attach an outside rear-view mirror on each side of your car by law.
Just like other provinces, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. However, the one thing that makes Alberta different from other provinces is the repercussions of breaking this law. If you are charged with impaired driving in Alberta, you will be charged a fine and have a 90-day license suspension. After you get your license back, you will be subjected to a one-year ignition interlock program. This means that in order to drive, you will have to pass an in-car breathalyzer test before your vehicle’s engine will even start.
What are the car insurance laws in Alberta?
In Alberta, it is illegal for anyone to drive without a car insurance policy. This is because without car insurance, you are a danger to not only yourself, but to everyone else on the road as well.
If you are caught driving without car insurance, you may be facing some very steep penalties. First offenders can be subjected to a fine anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000, plus a 15 per cent surcharge. Second-time offenders can be faced with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, as well as a 15 per cent surcharge. If you are caught driving without insurance more than twice, you may be facing a license suspension, and even up to 60 days in jail.
Most drivers in Alberta opt for at least $1,000,000 worth of coverage before they hit the road. Additional coverages are optional. You can decide with your broker if they are right for you. Some of the most popular and common options that drivers in Alberta add onto their policies are as follows:
- Collison Coverage – In Alberta, the fault determines how this coverage is applied. If you are in a collision where you are at fault, your damages will only be covered if you have collision coverage. However, if you are in a collision where you are not at fault and you have collision coverage, your insurance company will fix your vehicle and go after the third party to settle the costs. If you are not at fault but you do not have collision coverage, you have to go to the third party’s insurance company yourself to recoup the costs.
- Specified Perils Coverage – This additional coverage protects your vehicle from damages due to specific risks including things like fires, floods, hail or theft.
- Comprehensive Coverage – This coverage is a broader form of Specified Perils Coverage. It provides even more coverage. Your broker can explain exactly what is and isn’t covered under all the additional coverages.
How do I get car insurance in Alberta?
Congratulations! You’ve just purchased a new car and are now looking to insure it so you can get it on the road! But where to begin?
When looking into purchasing car insurance, there are a few documents that you will need to present an insurer with. Make sure that you have all of these things ready and accessible: your vehicle’s bill of sale or lease agreement, your driver’s license and documentation showing the date of birth of all drivers you want to include on the policy.
The process of getting insurance can be quite difficult, especially when you want to make sure you have the most competitive price. That is why we recommend going with a BrokerLink broker. Here at BrokerLink, we do the hard work for you. We will compare all of your options for you to not only find you the best price, but also the best policy tailored to your specific wants and needs.
Start saving money on your car insurance today!
To get started, visit us online, stop by a branch, or just give us a call. To talk to a broker now, please call us at 1-888-403-7212.