As an independent insurance broker Alberta, Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary can help Alberta drivers save money on their coverage.
Getting a traffic ticket is never good. Not only is there usually a fine, they also result in serious demerit points against your licence. And too many tickets mean your vehicle insurance rates will rise.
- The most severe demerit earner under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act is failure to remain at the scene of an accident, and is worth seven points.
- Speeding at 50 kph or more than the posted limit is worth six demerit points, as is racing, careless driving, and failing to stop for a stopped school bus.
- School zones are a particular emphasis under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, and even if you believe there are no children about, you must observe the posted speed limit.
- Five demerit points will be earned for each instance of failing to stop for a peace officer, or for failing to stop at an uncontrolled railway crossing while operating a school bus, or any other vehicle carrying explosives, dangerous gases, or flammable liquids.
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is worth four points, as is following too closely. Speeding at over 30 kph but under 50 kph over the posted speed limit is also four points.
- Stunting, speeding over 15 kph, but under 30 kph over the posted limit, driving left of centre, failing to stop on a red traffic signal or stop sign, improper passing, and failing to report an accident are all offences that result in three demerit points.
- Driving too slowly, exceeding the posted limit by up to 15 kph, lane violations, improper turns and U-turns, improper backing, and failing to obey traffic control devices and signs are common two demerit point offences.
- Drivers with graduated licences also can be charged with demerits that are not moving violations, such as for breaking curfew, having more passengers than available safety belts, or having an unqualified supervisor in the vehicle.
- Distracted driving – which prohibits drivers from using electronics, texting, talking while holding mobile phones, reading, or performing grooming while driving – will earn you three demerits on your license. And if you commit a moving violation while driving distracted, you may be written two traffic tickets.
- Very serious traffic offences, such as impaired driving, result in an immediate and prolonged licence suspension in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties.
Regardless of the offence, limiting your demerits is one of the factors you control that can help keep your premiums lower. By better observing the rules of the road you can also keep yourself from becoming involved in many common types of traffic accidents as well.
Teach Your Teens Well (Especially Boys)
According to Alberta Transportation, speeding is by far the most common traffic offence in the province. While wholly unsurprising, given the vast distances we drive at times, what is something of a shock is the rate at which male teen drivers rack up speeding tickets.
We certainly aren’t indicting all teenaged male drivers, but statistics show that male drivers aged 21-24 get caught speeding the most, and the most incorrigible speeders had three or more speeding offences in the prior three years, meaning that many started habitually speeding as teenagers. It is never too early to instill good driving habits.