BC and Alberta Driving Rules
Table of Contents
Check out some of the differences between BC and Alberta driving rules before you go
Non-Alberta license for tourists and visitors
A person visiting Alberta who is authorized to drive a motor vehicle of a particular class or type under a valid licence or permit issued outside Alberta is not required to hold a current and valid operator’s licence if the person drives the same type or class of motor vehicle while visiting in Alberta.
You can drive in Alberta with your BC license; just follow all of your restrictions
BC and Alberta Driving Rules – Turning Right on Red Light
BC and Alberta have the same rules regarding the right turn on the red light thing.
As usual, these turns are optional, and permitted, if/when safe, after stopping and yielding. Of course, in Alberta, you will be seeing the very intriguing ‘sideways’ traffic light.
Do not be alarmed if you see a double red sideways traffic light. This has the exact same meaning as the single red sideways traffic light.
BC and Alberta Driving Rules – Turning Left on Red Light
In beautiful British Columba, these left turns on red lights are permitted after stopping and yielding, if and when safe, from a:
- Two-way street onto a one-way street
- One-way street onto a one-way street
In Wild Rose Country, the only left turn on the red light permitted is:
- Onto a one-way street from a one-way street
…if and when safe, after stopping and yielding
BC and Alberta Driving Rules – Flashing Green Light
As we know in BC, this is a “Pedestrian-controlled traffic light;”
Other than being controlled by pedestrians – and of course drivers who get out of the car to press the button — the same rules apply as they do for solid green vertical traffic lights.
Generally speaking, left turns must yield to oncoming traffic, right turns must yield to pedestrians
In beautiful Alberta, Drivers facing a flashing green traffic control light are:
Opposing traffic will be facing a red light.
BC and Alberta Driving Rules – School Zones
British Columbia School Zone hours are on school days, Between 8 am and 5 pm, Unless otherwise posted
Alberta School Zone times – school days only -are :
• 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
• 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
• 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
*Unless otherwise posted
In BC, Playground restrictions are in effect every day of the year from dawn until dusk.
In Alberta, playground restrictions are in effect every day of the year from 8:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset.
Solid Yellow Lines
In BC, Passing is not permitted over solid double lines; but is permitted over a single solid line at the drivers’ discretion
In Alberta, Solid yellow lines, single or double, indicate that passing is not permitted.
In BC, If another vehicle has arrived at the intersection before you, slow down and yield. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right.
In Alberta, At these intersections, you must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on your right.
A flashing green light inside a vehicle means there is a volunteer firefighter on the way to an emergency: Flashing Green Light inside a Vehicle
Distracted Driving Laws are In Full Effect
Distracted Driving Law in Effect
Effective January 1, 2016 the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $287 fine and three demerit points.
The law applies to all motor vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act. It restricts drivers from:
- Using hand-held cell phones
- Texting or e-mailing (even when stopped at red lights)
- Using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays, and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
- Entering information on GPS units
- Reading printed materials in the vehicle
- Writing, printing, or sketching
- Personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails, or shaving)
The law applies to all roads in Alberta
Tinted Windows in BC & Alberta
There’s no tinted love in five provinces: In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, it’s illegal to have any tint at all on driver and passenger side windows.
“The front side windows on a vehicle are designed to shatter into small pieces the size of a fingernail upon impact,” says Alberta Transportation spokesman Bob McManus. “If you apply film over top of that glass it will not shatter correctly and will laminate into large sharp projectiles that can injure someone in the event of a collision.”