Quebec Highway Safety Code: What You Need to Know

December 15, 2022


If you are a driver or if you plan to become one, it is important to know the basic rules of the Highway Safety Code to avoid accidents and ensure the safety of all road users. In this article, we will introduce you to the main rules of the Code, as well as the penalties in the event of violation. We invite you to read this article carefully to ensure that you are familiar with the laws in force in Quebec.


What are the new rules of the Highway Safety Code?

Since January 1, 2021, the Quebec Highway Safety Code has been amended to include new rules aimed at improving road safety. Before passing your class 5 license, it is important to read it. These changes are the result of the application of Law 64, adopted in 2019 by the National Assembly of Quebec.

Traffic on public roads

Chapter 4 of the Highway Safety Code has been amended to better regulate vehicle traffic on public roads. The new law provides for stricter provisions regarding vehicle speed and parking, as well as tougher regulations for drivers in the event of incapacity behind the wheel.

Public transport

Chapter 5 of the Highway Safety Code has also been amended to include special provisions concerning buses and other public transport vehicles. Drivers of these vehicles must now adhere to specific speed, parking and traffic enforcement regulations.

Heavy vehicles

Chapter 6 of the Highway Safety Code has also been revised to better regulate the use of traffic lanes for heavy vehicles, such as trucks and buses. The new law provides for stricter provisions regarding the speed and parking of these vehicles, as well as stricter regulations for drivers in the event of incapacity behind the wheel.


What does the Highway Safety Code say about drunk driving?

Since January 1, 2019, the Quebec Highway Safety Code has been amended to strengthen the rules on drinking and driving. Indeed, many offenses related to alcohol consumption have been added to the road regulations, with more severe penalties for offenders.

Blood alcohol level

First of all, it is forbidden to drive a car with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08 g/100 ml. This limit is valid for all of Canada, but some provinces have even stricter rules. For example, in Quebec, a driver with a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.08 g/100 ml can be sanctioned by a suspension of driver’s license for a period of three days, with a fine of $300.

Stronger penalties

Drivers who commit alcohol-related offenses are also subject to additional penalties, such as confiscation of their vehicle and cancellation of their registration. These measures aim to dissuade drivers from driving after consuming alcohol, for their own safety and that of other road users.

The regulations state that any driver who is caught driving while impaired by alcohol faces immediate suspension of their driver’s license, as well as a fine of up to $1,500. Not only will they not be able to drive for a specified period, but they will also not be able to use their car during this period.

The Highway Safety Code also provides penalties for drivers who commit alcohol-related offenses in the presence of children in their vehicle. In this case, they are liable to an additional fine of $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension for a period of three years.

These measures were put in place to improve road safety in Canada and reduce the number of accidents caused by drink-driving. According to data from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), approximately 25% of fatal accidents on Québec roads are alcohol-related.


Are there special rules for two wheels in the Highway Safety Code?

The Quebec Highway Safety Code has special rules for motorcycles and cyclists. These rules are intended to ensure the safety of these vehicles and their drivers on the roads.

Rules similar to other vehicles…

By law, motorcycles must be registered and insured to be used on the roads. Motorcycle riders must also hold a valid driver’s license and adhere to applicable road safety regulations.

Motorcycles and cyclists must also obey the traffic rules in force on the roads. This means they must drive on the right and obey traffic lights and road signs. They must also not exceed the permitted speeds and must yield to other vehicles when necessary.

But also special rules

However, there are special rules that only apply to motorcycles and bicycles. For example, motorcyclists are not allowed to ride two on a single motorcycle, unless it is a sidecar. In addition, cyclists are not allowed to ride on motorways or expressways, unless there is a specially designed lane for them.

Motorcycles and cyclists are also prohibited from riding on sidewalks and cycle paths, unless expressly authorized by road signs. Motorcycle drivers must also obey no overtaking and overtaking at all times, except in an emergency.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in motorcyclists and cyclists being fined and receiving points on their driver’s license. They may also be subject to fines of up to $1,000.



You are now well informed of the main provisions of the highway safety code in Quebec… And you are ready to take the SAAQ theory test! Do not panic, at the Somerled School, you can take this exam with confidence. Make an appointment now with our team and start your driving adventure!