On March 16, 2022, the Alberta government introduced Bill 5, the Traffic Safety Amendment Act. If passed, the Act will introduce slower speed limits when passing all roadside workers, including snowplows and maintenance teams when vehicle lights are flashing, and vehicle is stopped on the highway.
Changes to the Traffic Safety Act
- All motorists traveling in the same direction will be required to slow down to at least 60 km/h when passing a stopped roadside worker vehicle with it’s lights flashing.
- All motorists traveling in the opposite direction on single lane highways will be required to slow down to 60 km/h when passing a stopped roadside worker vehicle with it’s lights flashing.
These changes would give snowplow operators and roadside maintenance teams the same protection under the Traffic Safety Act as first responders, tow truck operators and construction crews and provide consistent traffic rules for roadside vehicles to better mitigate motorist confusion.
The proposed Traffic Safety Amendment Act follows recommendations from the roadside worker safety engagement held in Spring 2021. The engagement included feedback from Albertans who participated in an online survey from March 9th to April 6th, 2021.
“Roadside workers work in a high-risk environment and deserve the best protection so that they can go home safely to their families at the end of their shift. That’s why, following consultations with the public and stakeholders, Alberta’s government is proposing these changes to protect all those working along our highways.”
Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation
- Alberta’s Government will conduct an educational campaign for all drivers prior to the anticipated enforcement date of spring 2023.
- About 15,000 Albertans responded to an online survey from March 16 to April 6, 2021:
- 92 per cent supported requiring all vehicles to provide one lane of space when passing a roadside worker vehicle when its lights are flashing.
- 60 felt that the current passing laws were inadequate.
- Current fines for passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road can range from $136 to $826, depending on the speed.
- Between March 2018 and March 2021, there were 128 collisions involving snowplows contracted by Alberta Transportation.
- The Alberta Motor Association reported that since December 2019, there have been 36 near misses and at least 13 serious roadside incidents involving Alberta tow trucks and passing vehicles - collisions resulting in injury, hospitalization and even death.
*March 16, 2022, Improving safety to roadside workers https://www.alberta.ca/news.aspx
Follow us to stay current on future updates on the Traffic Safety Amendment Act and other Safety News!
This update is for informational use only and does not supersede any bylaws or legislation. Please visit your local municipality’s website for applicable up-to-date information for your area.