Alberta & BC Rockies Driving

Canada uses the metric system. This means that signs do not specify kilometres per hour (km/h) -- it is assumed. A kilometre is about 0.6 of a mile, so 100 km/h is about 60 miles per hour.

Metric speed conversionYou can drive 30 km/h (20 miles per hour) in school and playground zones, which are near most parks.

You can drive 50 km/h on most streets, and 90 km/h (about 55 mph) on the Transportation-Canada in the Parks. Outside the National Parks, you can generally drive 100 km/h (about 60 mph) though on the highways between Banff & Calgary and the Calgary & Edmonton, you can drive up to 120 km/h (about 70 mph).

Some other rules in Alberta
Licences. A valid driver's license from any country (or an International Driver's License ) is good in Ontario for three months. The driver of your motor vehicle must be at least 16 years of age, though car rental operations may impose a higher age minimum (typically 21.

Ownership. If you are driving into Alberta or importing a vehicle, you must have its registration documents. If you are driving a borrowed car you must have a signed letter of permission from the owner. If you're driving a rented car, have your rental contract.

Insurance. To show the vehicle is properly insured, bring either a Canadian Non-Resident Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card (obtained from your insurance agent), or the insurance policy itself.

Stopping for School Buses. Traffic in both directions (except on divided roads or highways) must stop for a yellow school bus when its red lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended.

Right Turns on Red Lights. Right turns may be made on red lights unless otherwise posted. Come to a full stop, and proceed with caution if the way is clear.

Radar Detectors. It is legal to use or transport radar detection devices in Alberta. Radar detectors are illegal in several other provinces, though.

Seat Belts and Car Seats for Children. Alberta law requires all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to wear seat belts or use appropriate car seats. There are only very limited exceptions, mainly for cars manufactured before 1971 and for passenger seats in certain situations. You are required to use child safety seats for small children in your vehicle (many car rental companies can provide these if requested). Children up to 9 kg (20 lbs) must site in a rear-facing system, from 9 kg to 18 kg (to 40 lbs) must sit in a front-facing system. Never place a rear-facing infant safety seat in a seating position where there is an air bag. The driver is responsible for the safety of all passengers under the age of 16 years.

Hitchiking. Hitchhiking is not allowed on major (controlled-access) highways. Hitchiking is not allowed on any streets or roadways inside Calgary city limits.

Don't drink and drive. Driving any motorized vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and boats, while impaired is illegal. You can immediately lose your licence for 90 days for refusing to take a breath alcohol test (Breathalyzer® makes one brand) or having a breath alcohol reading indicating a blood-alcohol content of 0.08%. Conviction may also result in loss of driving privleges for at least one year.

Speed Traps

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[ (BC) ]

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