Yearly, thousands of visitors enjoy driving in Canada. If you are going to travel to Canada, before you leave your home country, you should know that for driving in Canada you need a valid National Driving Permit and an International driving permit That is legally required to carry both driver licenses and copies of a vehicle registration and insurance while driving. You can drive with your International driver license and national driving permit for a few months (60 – 90 days) depending on the province or territory.
Driving in Canada is similar to driving in many parts of the United States. There are some main rules of Canadian road traffic which tourists should know:
- Driving is on the right side of the road with overtaking on the left side.
- Distance and speeds are given in kilometers per hour (km/h). Some signs, especially in Quebec, may only be in French.
- In cities, the maximum speed limit is 50 km/h, on highways 80km/h, and on rural highways 100 km/h.
- It is illegal to have automobile radar detectors. Police may seizure radar detectors, regardless of whether they are used or not, and impose fines.U. S. driver licenses are valid and auto insurance is accepted in Canada. U.S. insurance companies issue a Canadian insurance card which should be obtained before travel to Canada.
- The minimum driving age is 16 years old. However, rental car companies require at least 21 years with over one year driving experience.
- Driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts. Children who weight less than forty pounds must ride in child seats which must conform to the standards of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards organization.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is criminal offenses. The drinking limit is 0.08%; in some provinces 0.05%. A foreign driver exceeding drinking limit could be deported.
- That is not allowed to use cell phone while driving.
- If school bus has flashing lights, traffic in both directions must stop.
- That is not allowed to park in front of fire hydrants. Vehicles can’t be parked less than nine meters from an intersection.
- In Quebec and Montreal city, right turn on a red light is illegal; in the rest of the country, "Right on Red" is allowed.
- At intersections, directional signs indicate only the allowed turn; any other turn is prohibited.
- At the four way intersection, drivers must proceed in the order they have a
- If you are stopped by police officer, stay in your car and switch the engine off.
- Pedestrians at crosswalks and corners have the right of way.
- Some provinces require keeping headlights on during the day.
- Safety helmets for drivers and passengers of motorcycles are required. Motorcycles cannot share a lane.
- Many highways do not have merge lanes for entering traffic.
- Lines marked with white diamonds are for using by buses, taxis and bicycles.
- Emergency assistances can be reached by calling 911.
Foreign drivers also should know that winter travel in Canada can be dangerous due to heavy snowfalls and icy conditions. In some provinces, snow tires are required.
Canadian Road Traffic Signs
Driving Overseas - Short Information
In rural areas, while driving travelers also should be cautious of moose, elks, and deer.