How Canada Regulates Traffic and Highway Laws

Having a driver’s license is a massive responsibility, and not just because vehicles are massive and dangerous.  In every society where commuting is a major component of daily life there exists various traffic laws which help to ensure people drive safely and in a way that benefits everyone. After all, public roads are intended for everyone to use in a fair and equal way.

In Canada, the government is divided into three levels:  the federal, the provincial, and the municipal.  This is much like the way the American government is divided into national/federal, state, and city.  In addition, American and Canadian governments both follow certain Common Law statutes.  And, similarly, both countries develop monavocat Canada traffic laws in accordance with the three levels of government.


The Federal Canadian government really only gets involved with traffic matters when there is a major criminal violation.  According to the Canadian Criminal Code, certain serious traffic offences should be tried in a federal court.  This can include:

  • criminal negligence while operating a motor vehicle
  • criminal negligence resulting in death (of passenger, another driver, or pedestrian, etc)
  • driving under the influence of an inebriating substance
  • wreckless driving


The provinces of Canada (which act a bit like American states though they are much bigger) are each responsible for establishing their own highways and roads and, as such, are also in charge of governing these routes.  Provincial laws aim to regulate driver conduct within that province.  This means that the laws or regulations can vary between the provinces, though they are mostly similar to each other.  The Canadian Provincial Highway Traffic Acts control all of these provincial road issues, which can include:

  • driver licensing (and related issues)
  • motor vehicle conditions
  • motor vehicle operation
  • vehicle registration and safety
  • driver safety


Within each province of Canada is several municipalities that also have specific jurisdictions over highway and travel regulation.  Mostly, municipalities are in charge of road maintenance to ensure that drivers can have a specific expectation of safety

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Jovany Maxwell