Traffic Violations That May Expense You

Distracted driving on Calgary's roads: What you need to know

You probably consider yourself to be a rather competent driver if you're like the majority of Albertans. You drive gently in school zones, pay attention to your speed, avoid running stop signs, and always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

However, the Traffic Safety Act in Alberta is full of lesser-known infractions, such as failing to make sure your moped's reflector is visible from a distance of 100 meters at night ($115 fine) or not having adequate insurance coverage for a mobile home's contents when driving it down the highway ($230 fine, lots of broken dishes).

Here is a list of the most frequent moving infractions that you might not be aware of. Additionally, because some traffic charges in Alberta increased by 35% in 2015, you can avoid expensive fines and demerits by making sure your taillights are covered.

Driving After Your Registration Expired

The little error of forgetting to renew your car registration could result in a large fine. Should your registration be discovered to be expired, you may be subject to a fine and significant inconvenience.

Operating a Vehicle Without Proper Insurance

Before being driven on the road, all motor vehicles with Albertan registrations need to be insured. It is a significant offense to fail to produce evidence of insurance, and you may be subject to a large fine and an ordered court appearance. Why not check your policy to make sure you have what you need and aren't paying for things you don't need when you check the renewal date on your vehicle insurance policy? Keep your most recent insurance documentation in your wallet or handbag at all times, and make sure to destroy the old one—keeping an expired pink card in your car could result in fines.

Driving quickly past emergency vehicles with flashing lights

Not everyone appears to comprehend the rule requiring you to slow down as you pass emergency vehicles operating on the side of the road. It's actually quite easy: all adjacent lane vehicles must reduce their speed to 60 km/h or less if the lights are flashing. Be cautious and ready to slow down, even if you're a lane over, to give tow trucks space to maneuver. When passing an emergency vehicle at highway speed, you risk receiving a fee and demerits because speeding fines are doubled.

Driving With an Expired Licence

Okay, this one should be clear. It's surprising how many drivers get stopped for having the incorrect license in their wallet, though. Never carry numerous licenses in your wallet or take out a friend's identity. The validity of an Alberta Class 5 driver's license is five years, so find out when it expires—which is your birthday—and make a mental point to renew it before then. You might have to renew every year, depending on your age or the sort of license you hold. You will pay for driving when your license is expired.

Driving While Under the Influence of Medications

The most common criminal cause of death in Canada is drunk driving. We're sure you've heard by now to make arrangements for a safe return trip if you're using drugs or alcohol recreationally. However, a prescribed drug's negative effects may also result in an arrest for driving while intoxicated. Even if this is your first offense, you will have your license suspended until your court date and have your car seized for three days right away. Penalties may include fines, legal costs, and higher insurance premiums, depending on the individual. Yet if the unimaginable occurs, that would be nothing compared to the trauma that would last a lifetime.

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