Driving in Canada is different just like any other country. You need to get yourself acquainted with their laws and follow them diligently. Canada has carefully formulated laws for every province that helps drivers to keep safe even in treacherous winters. If you aren’t from Canada, it is wise to read the laws and apply for a driving license. The Canadian laws are made for the ease of its people, you just need to get fully acquainted with them. Read ahead to know more.
Canada has a dual form of governance. There is the federal government and a government for every province. Each state has different laws. It is a little tedious to equip yourself with all the knowledge but the governments make it easy. They have all the information easily available to everyone on their official websites. Driving rules are different for all the states. Even though there are minor changes, you need to know these.
Drinking and driving
Driving under influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Canada. Everyone takes road safety very seriously and any form of disobedience is not tolerated. You can get a serious penalty if you break the rules resulting in a prison sentence. The new Canadian law for impaired driving which became official in December 2018, gives more power to law enforcement authorities to be more vigilant. Cops are now allowed to pull over any driver and check if they are inebriated. Earlier it was only allowed on suspicion. The citizens are not very happy with this as the new law violates their privacy.
Driving license rules
Every province has different laws for driving and criteria for issuing driving licenses. You need to look at the laws in your province before you apply for a license. There are roughly three stages to apply for a license, though the procedures could be slightly different depending on the provincial laws. The first is G1 which is a test on your knowledge of driving rules. Then there’s G2 which is the actual driving test with an examiner. This is valid for 5 years and needs to be renewed after. You can opt for G too which is for a longer period. Go through the rules of your province before applying.
Canada has a pool of very courteous drivers. If you’re new to the country observe the drivers and do as they do. Don’t sound the horn in city areas and give right of way to pedestrians. Pedestrians have the first right of way in Canada. Turning right at red traffic lights is permitted except on the island of Montreal. A flashing green light is unique to Canada. It means that you have the right of passage at a two-way or four-way junction. Keep a comfortable distance from the vehicle in the front, especially on the highways.
David Preszler from PreszlerLaw-NS.com explains that when a court or jury attempts to determine who is at fault in a rear end accident, the parties' credibility is critical. If you follow all the rules and are an ethical driver, you could have the upper hand here in an honest mistake. If you have any traffic violation on your driving license it would go against you.
Canadian laws absolutely prohibit stuffing more people in your car than the seat belts. You could be levied a heavy penalty if charged. If you have a toddler or a child below 40lb they must be secured in a car seat during the drive. The laws of Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia now prohibit smoking in the car if there is a minor present.
As you go towards the west, you’ll realize that the road signs are now increasingly in French. Brush up on your French if you’re going to Quebec. Some areas of eastern Canada have road signs only in French. Canadian road signs also tell you the speed limits. They follow the Metric system so you might want to know the speed limits before you hit the roads. City driving limits are set at 50km/h (31 m/h). Their two-lane highways have a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 m/h). You can go faster on the major highways at 100 km/h which is (62m/s).
When you’re in Canada do as the Canadians do. The diversity of ethnicities and cultures will baffle you and you’ll find people from your country too. However Canadian laws still apply to everyone in Canada.