Hill Parking With or Without a Curb

The following information applies to vehicles parked on the right-hand side of the road. Vehicles parked on the left-hand side of the road, turn the front wheels in the opposite direction. To prevent a parked vehicle from rolling down a hill, always set your park brake and always plcae your transmission in low gear (manual transmission) or park (automatic transmission). In addition:

  • If you park facing uphill on a street with a curb, turn the front wheels toward the left and allow your vehicle to roll back until the right front tire is touching the curb.
  • If you park facing uphill on a street without a curb, turn your front wheels to the right.
  • If you park facing downhill, always turn your front wheels to the right.

Note: Allow your vehicle to roll to the point where your front wheels are making contact with the curb before setting the park brake and parking gear. This helps prevent the vehicle from “jumping the curb” in the event the vehicle starts to move.

Hill Parking Image from https://epermittest.com

Parallel Parking

This type of parking will seem difficult at first and will require practice. You will need to learn how to judge if a parking space is large enough for your vehicle. To park in a space between two vehicles at the right-hand curb, follow the steps below.

  • When you are approaching your intended parallel parking space, check early to the rear for traffic that is following you. Apply your brakes well in advance, signal right, blind spot check and start to slow down. Your brake lights will alert other drivers of your intent to stop and park parallel by the curb. Stop when the passenger seatbelt is in line with the rear bumper of the front vehicle (that you are parking between) and parallel to the curb. Leave about one meter of space between the vehicles.
  • Back very slowly, steering sharply to the right until the vehicle is approximately at a 45-degree angle to the curb. Your steering wheel should now be in line with the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Straighten your front wheels. Continue backing until the right end of your front bumper is in line with the back end of the vehicle in front of you. Be careful not to make contact with this vehicle.
  • Turn the wheel rapidly to the left as far as it will go and back up until you are parallel with the curb. Be careful not to make contact with the bumper of the vehicle behind you.
  • Move forward very slowly while straightening your wheels. Stop when your vehicle is centred between the vehicle in front of you and the vehicle behind you. Set the park brake. The law requires that the wheels of the parked vehicle not be more than 50 centimetres from the curb.

Note: Allow your vehicle to roll to the point where your front wheels are making contact with the curb before setting the park brake and parking gear. This helps prevent the vehicle from “jumping the curb” in the event the vehicle starts to move.

Parallel Parking Information courtesy of The Alberta Basic Drivers Handbook

School and Playground Zones

School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days.

Playground zones are in effect daily starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending one hour after sunset.


The speed limit in school and playground zones is 30 km/hour in Strathcona County.

The above hours may change according to municipal bylaws. If a municipality does change the above times, the new times must be posted beneath the school sign.

You are NOT permitted to pass or attempt to pass another vehicle travelling in the same direction within a school zone during the hours when it is in effect.

For more information on the above driving tips, please download the free PDF copy of the Alberta Basic Drivers Handbook.

Traffic Circles

In a traffic circle, the vehicle on the right must yield to the vehicle on the left. The driver on the left must activate the right signal and use caution when leaving the circle and crossing through the outside lane.

The Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation AR304/2002 states:

S 40: Unless otherwise directed by a traffic control device, a person driving a vehicle that is travelling in a traffic circle shall yield the right of way to any other vehicle that is in the circle and that is travelling to the left of that person’s vehicle.

In Alberta, yield signs are posted for both approach lanes. Drivers in approach lanes must yield to vehicles in the circle.

Drivers must remember to yield to the vehicles in the left lane when attempting movements through traffic circles in the right lane.

Drivers intending to turn right or take the first exit should:

  • Approach the traffic circle in the right lane:
  • Signal right before you aprroach the circle
  • Yield to pedestrians at the crosswalk and vehicles in the traffic circle
  • When safe to proceed, continue the turn in the right lane to first exit

Drivers who intend to exit beyond the first exit should:

  • Approach the traffic circle in the left lane
  • Signal left
  • Yield to pedestrians at the crosswalk and vehicles in the traffic circle
  • When safe to proceed, enter into the left lane
  • Continue to signal left in the traffic circle
  • Signal right on exit – the signal should change once you have gone past the exit before your intended exit
  • Do not change lanes while moving through the traffic circle or on exit

In this diagram below:

  1. Vehicles B and C must yield to Vehicle A
  2. Vehicle E must yield to Vehicle D, while Vehicles F and D proceed together
  3. Vehicle H must yield to Vehicle G

Traffic that is in the lanes shown in red must yield to traffic in the lanes shown in yellow. Traffic entering the circle must yield to traffic already in the circle. When you are leaving the traffic circle, use your right turn signal. This tells other drivers what you intend to do.

Traffic Circles Information and Images Courtesy of The Alberta Basic Drivers Handbook

Each Time you Practice:
  • Be in the “practicing mood.” Practice when both of you are in good moods, are well rested, and have enough time.
  • Adjust the mirrors, seats, steering wheel position and safety belts before starting the vehicle. Always wear your safety belts.
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs and at red lights.
  • Before moving from a stop, look left, then front (straight ahead), and then right.
  • Keep your eyes moving. Use your mirrors to check around and behind the vehicle every 6-8 seconds.
  • Keep at least a 2-4 second space between your vehicle and others in traffic flow. Try to stay centered in your lane of travel.
  • Avoid the “No-Zone” with trucks or buses. This is about 4.6 meters on all sides of the truck. If you cannot see truck drivers in their mirrors, they cannot see you either.
  • Speed increases braking distance. Doubling your speed will quadruple your braking distance. The faster you’re going the longer it takes to stop.
  • Vehicle weight increases braking distance. Doubling your vehicle weight will double your braking distance. If you are driving a large vehicle or towing a trailer, it takes longer to stop.
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