When the clock hit midnight signalling the start of 2016, some new road rules, fines, and fees kicked in as well. See what's new on the road for drivers in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec.
Ontario: Driving with winter tires? Make sure you’re getting the winter tire discount.
As of January 1, Ontario auto insurance companies must offer a discount to motorists who install four winter tires. The amount of the discount was not specified, but prior to it being required by the province the discount typically came in at about five per cent.
Ontario: New rules at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings
Drivers and cyclists must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers, school crossings, and any location where a school crossing guard is present.
Drivers who fail to comply could face a fine of $150 to $500 and three demerit points. The penalty may be doubled in designated Community Safety Zones.
- Related Read: Steer Clear Of Tickets—New Ontario Rules Of The Road (that came into effect September 1, 2015)
Alberta: Penalties for distracted driving given more bite
Drivers caught driving distracted in Alberta will face a fine of $287 with three demerit points. The distracted driving law in Alberta restricts drivers from using hand-held cell phones, texting or emailing (even when stopped at a red light), reading printed material, as well as personal grooming when behind the wheel.
Quebec: Renewing your driver’s licence will be cheaper
The cost to renew a driver’s licence and vehicle registration has decreased in Quebec. The SAAQ has reduced the insurance contribution portion of the driver’s licence and vehicle registration fees, which could save many drivers about $65.
Quebec: What’s under your hood could cost you more
Vehicle registration fees may have decreased, but drivers of cars with a lot of power under the hood will be subject to an additional registration fee. The fees vary depending on the cylinder displacement (in litres) but range from $35.50 up to $376. The reason behind the additional registration fee is to "reinforce the goal of reducing pollutants emitted by vehicles and greenhouse gases."
In with the new, out with the old
It’s early in the year, but there are already changes afoot for drivers; from discounts in car insurance rates, to lower fees, new traffic rules, and fines. Chances are it's just the beginning, and InsuranceHotline.com will do its best to keep you up-to-date on what's new on the roads where you drive.