How Well Do You Know the Canadian Rules of the Road?


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The rules of the road are essential to follow to make sure that everyone makes it to their destination safely. These rules are often different depending on where you are. Many laws in Canada differ from even the neighboring United States! What driving laws do you have in your country?

Do you know what unit of measurement is used on road signs that indicate the speed limit? Do you know what a white and red triangular sign means? How about what you should do at a red light? Reading the signs and signals is only part of the rules, obeying them is just as important.

Do you know the age in which you can get a driver's license? What about the laws when it comes to distracted driving? Do you know which way you drive when you come to a roundabout? Driving laws in Canada are taken very seriously, and they are always being improved.

The questions on this quiz will make driving through the country a breeze. If you're a Canadian driver, this will be simple. If you're not and you just know your rules of the Canadian road, then this will be simple for you too! Prepare for a road trip throughout the Great White North and take this quiz to see your score!

What language other than English are some Canadian road signs printed in?

In areas such as Quebec, some road signs are only printed in French. That can make driving a little adventurous, so it's a good idea to brush up on basic French, at least as it pertains to street signs, before you hit the road there.


Which side of the road do Canadians drive on?

While driving on the left side of the road is a thing in England, Japan, Australia, and a handful of other countries, Canadians drive on the right. Just like in the United States, they pass or overtake traffic by crossing over to the left.


Who has to wear a seat belt in Canada?

Pretty much every developed nation in the world has laws that require drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts. Quite a few studies and crash tests proved the effectiveness of seat belts, meaning not wearing one is just foolish.


What's the minimum driving age in Canada?

In general, the minimum age to legally drive in Canada is 16. The one exception is in Alberta, where at 14, a person can drive with a learner's permit, if a licensed driver over 18 is in the car.


Can you drive in Canada without a license?

Again, just like every other developed nation in the world, you'll need a license to drive in Canada. If you're a foreigner, your license needs to be in English or French, otherwise, you'll need to get an international driver's license.


All Canadian speed limits are marked in what units?

If you look at the speedometer in your car, you probably have a secondary set of numbers that show kilometers per hour. In some newer vehicles with digital displays, you can change the setting through the infotainment system.


At a four-way intersection, who has right of way?

Just like in the United States and many other countries, Canadian road rules state that the car that arrives at a four-way intersection first gets to go first. When you think about it, that only makes logical sense.


If a school bus has flashing red lights, what must you do?

In the United States, school buses usually have a stop sign that extends out, just to clear up any confusion. Canadians might think that's overkill, and maybe it is.


What does a flashing green light at an intersection in British Columbia mean?

Even other Canadians can find the flashing green signals in British Columbia confusing. It just makes you aware that a pedestrian could be crossing, so keep your eyes open and be aware.


You're going to turn into a private driveway off a road, but a pedestrian is crossing in front of it on the sidewalk. Who has right of way?

Sorry, but in Canada, they don't smile on mowing down pedestrians, which is the same in the United States. You're also supposed to stop at the line in front of crosswalks and wait for pedestrians to leave the road before going.


Where in Canada is it illegal to turn right on a red light?

It used to be that the whole Province of Quebec outlawed turning right on a red light, but that was changed some time ago. Still, when you cross any bridge to Montreal, large signs help motorists remember that you can't do that on the island.


What can't you use in anger while driving in Quebec?

Quebec takes road rage seriously, so think twice before honking your horn in anger because another driver does something you don't like, or you're tired of waiting for them to go. You will be fined at least $100 if a police officer catches you.


A red light at an intersection means what?

Red always means to stop, and you shouldn't get that one confused. Not only is it incredibly important when driving in Canada, red lights mean the same thing in the United States and plenty of other countries.


In New Brunswick, you can't do what in a car with minors riding in it?

In an effort to keep smoke out of kids' lungs, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Ontario, and other territories have passed laws banning smoking in cars where minors are present. You'll face a stiff fine for non-compliance.


What kind of road sign is triangular, with a white triangle inside a red one?

Funny enough, this sign is the same in the United States, but a lot of drivers have no idea what it means. Yield means you wait for vehicles that are already traveling in a lane, then you can go.


In British Columbia your can't put your vehicle into what while going downhill?

Some drivers will shift into neutral and let the car coast down a long hill our mountainside, as a way to save on gas. That'll get you in trouble in BC. If you have a manual transmission, the clutch must stay engaged. How exactly they'll catch you is a mystery.


What must motorcyclists wear in Canada?

Pretty much everywhere in the country, motorcyclists must wear a helmet. That includes passengers. It's a good idea to wear one anyway, so invest in a helmet if you haven't already.


Which way do you go in a roundabout?

Always go to the right, or flow in a counterclockwise fashion in a roundabout when traveling in Canada. That shouldn't be confusing, because it's the same way as in the United States.


When passing in Prince Edward Island, what are you legally supposed to do?

The law in Prince Edward Island says you're supposed to honk to let the other driver know you're there, but in reality, most people don't follow it. If you do decide to honk, a gentle chirp is sufficient, since laying on it could cause an accident.


Where can't cyclists ride, unless a road sign explicitly allows it?

Supposedly this is the law in the United States, but it's not very well enforced in a lot of areas. Apparently, Canada is more serious about enforcing this, and the law about not wearing headphones while cycling.


What does a green circle around a symbol or text on a Canadian road sign mean?

If you're driving and see a green circle around anything on a street sign, it's a big deal. Not following the direction could get you pulled over by the police, and you might be facing a big fine, so pay attention to the circle.


From December 15 to March 15 in Quebec, which of the following isn't a seasonal driving law?

The weather can get pretty intense in Quebec and other provinces. To help reduce the likelihood of accidents from snow, ice, fog, etc. these laws are strictly enforced by police, so know what they are and follow them, or face the consequences.


In Quebec, the zero alcohol rule applies to all drivers under what age?

While the blood alcohol concentration of over 80 mg per 100 ml of blood is the legal limit in Quebec, anyone under 22 can't have any alcohol in their blood if they're driving. The violation of this law can come with some strict consequences.


What can't you have on the front windows in Alberta and a few other provinces?

British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan have this same law. Any tint on your front windows is considered a danger, and you can be cited for the violation.


In Saskatchewan, you can't do what to a car you're not riding in on the highway?

As bizarre as it may sound, the provincial law actually states you can't directly or through an attachment, like a pole, hold onto another vehicle as you're traveling down the highway. Why you'd want to do that is truly a mystery, but it's in the law.


In Ontario, the law states you can't race what furiously on a highway?

If this seems like an odd law, that's because it is. Not only can't you race or drive a horse furiously on a highway, the same thing goes for all animals. That means your idea of holding ostrich races on a desolate stretch of highway could land you on the wrong side of the law.


When can you text as a driver in Canada?

Canadians take texting and driving seriously, so don't even think about doing in anywhere in the country. In fact, in some provinces, you can be cited for texting while in a drive-thru, believe it or not. Just park the car and then send your messages.


How much do children need to weigh to not use a booster seat while riding in a car?

In Canada, kids that are either 80 pounds or 4 foot 9 inches don't have to use a booster seat, legally. Child seats are required for kids until they are 5 or weigh 40 pounds.


If you're using a horse-drawn sleigh on a highway in Ontario, it must be equipped with what for a warning sound?

Ontario traffic laws actually state that a sleigh or sled pulled by horse must have two or more bells attached to the horse's harness or the sleigh/sled itself. It acts as a warning to pedestrians because it's doubtful that people in cars will hear anything.


What's the minimum fine for street racing in Ontario?

It used to be a minimum $200 fine, but a recent law pumped the amount up. The maximum fine also skyrocketed from $1,000 to $10,000. Basically, you shouldn't try to race on the streets in Ontario.


Where in Canada is it illegal to drive barefoot?

In some parts of the United States and other countries you can't legally drive without any shoes on, that certainly isn't the case in Canada. Feel free to kick off those shoes and drive across the whole country, because it's legal.


Which Canadian province bans eating while driving?

While Canada has some crazy road rules, nowhere in the country is it illegal to eat while driving. You might want to eat the poutine while parked because it's some pretty messy stuff that could make your hands slippery, but that's just a matter of common sense.


In British Columbia, you can't do what in the left lane?

The left lane is for passing other traffic, and British Columbia really wants to enforce that facet. If you can move over safely for a car that's going faster, refusing to do so could result in a fairly large fine, plus demerit points on your license, so don't do it.


In Quebec, when can you hold a phone while in the driver's seat?

Quebec really doesn't want anyone holding a phone and driving, no matter what they're doing with the phone. If a police officer sees you holding one while stopped at a red light and your car isn't moving, you'll still be at least warned, if not cited and fined, so just don't do it.


In which province can you legally cross solid road lines?

On the highway, you can cross over solid lane lines in Ontario, for reasons nobody seems to really understand. Every other province has a law against that, just like in the United States, which makes so much more sense.


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