Roadside worker safety is a growing concern in Alberta. Between 2014 and 2018, Alberta's Workers’ Compensation Board reported 2,229 injuries involving workers struck by vehicles. Alberta is strengthening its traffic laws to better protect roadside workers. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are the New Rules?
Starting September 1, 2023, motorists will be required to take action when passing all roadside workers, not just emergency vehicles. The new law has two main parts:
1. You must change lanes. Regardless of the type of vehicle or the colour of flashing lights, drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle must move over to the far lane to pass when it is safe to do so.
2. You must slow down. If it’s not safe to move over into the far lane, drivers passing any roadside worker vehicles with flashing lights must slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower.
Additionally, drivers must not pass a snowplow when the view along the side of the snowplow is obstructed, if passing impedes the operation of the snowplow, or if passing cannot be done safely.
Why Alberta is Updating Its Roadside Worker Safety Laws
Since 2005, motorists have been required slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit (whichever was lower), when passing emergency vehicles and tow trucks. However, many roadside workers, including highway maintenance personnel and snowplow operators weren’t protected, leaving them at risk. In 2022 alone, there were 37 collisions involving government-contracted snowplows.
What Are the Fines?
Drivers that fail to comply with the new Roadside Worker Safety laws will face significant penalties. You could be fined up to $243 and receive three demerits on your driving record. When it comes to passing snowplows illegally, fines will increase to $324 and three demerits.
Additionally, you could be given a speeding ticket. In Alberta, speeding fines double when passing construction workers, first responders tow trucks, snowplows or any other roadside workers.
How to Make Fine Payments
Alberta motorists who are fined can pay through the Service Alberta website or by visiting a local registry office. When paying a current fine you must present an original copy of the ticket, a current Notice of Conviction or an Offence Notice. Please note, registry offices charge a $9 service fee for each fine paid.
Motor Vehicle Services in Calgary and the Surrounding Area
At Registry @ South Trail Crossing Ltd., our agents can help you pay your fines and take care of all your motor vehicle and licensing needs. Contact us today to learn more or visit us in person at our office located in southeast Calgary.