So, your son or daughter has recently reached legal driving age and is itching to get behind the wheel. But how do you safely train a teen driver in Alberta?
It’s a concern the provincial government shares, which explains the introduction of graduated licensing in Alberta. This system grants increasing responsibility to young drivers as they reach and surpass a succession of milestones. It limits their ability to drive until they prove themselves ready for the task.
Graduated Licensing Alberta: How It Works
Alberta’s graduated licensing program has recently undergone some changes. Here’s a review of how it currently works:
Get a learner’s license
To qualify for a learner’s license (Stage One), candidates must be at least 14 years of age, pass a vision test, and obtain parental permission if they are under 18. Drivers with a learner’s license must adhere to a list of restrictions, including:
- No driving between midnight and 5 a.m.
- Accompaniment by a fully licensed driver over the age of 18 at all times
- The accompanying driver must be seated in the front of the vehicle
Drivers with learner’s licenses cannot carry more passengers than there are seat belts in the vehicle and must maintain a 0 blood-alcohol level at all times. They will also face license suspensions after accruing 8 demerit points, rather than the usual 15.
Progress through the probationary period
After possessing a learner’s license for at least one year, drivers can then graduate to Stage Two, or a probationary license. To qualify, candidates must be at least 16 years old and pass a Class 5 Alberta written road test.
Stage Two probationary drivers are subject to all the same restrictions and conditions as drivers with learner’s licenses. The probationary license cannot be upgraded to include any other vehicle classes, and must be held for at least two years. However, Stage Two probationary drivers no longer have to be accompanied by a fully licensed adult driver at all times.
Graduate to fully licensed status
If your teen has been suspension-free for at least the final year of the two-year Stage Two probationary period, he or she can then take an advanced road test. Passing this test leads to a full Class 5 license, which removes all graduated licensing restrictions.
Teens learning to drive motorcycles are subject to slightly differing requirements. For details, and for further general information about graduated licensing in Alberta, please consult this provincial government resource.
Insurance for Your Teen Driver in Alberta
Insuring a young and inexperienced driver can come at a cost, since these demographics are deemed to be at increased risk of being in an accident. To get the lowest possible auto insurance rates for teens and new drivers, here are some tips you can follow:
- Work with an insurance broker, who can get insurers competing with each other for your business
- Enroll the young driver in an accredited training and education program
- Add the young driver to the parent’s existing policy, rather than establishing a separate one
With caution and attention, your teen will remain accident-free during those crucial early years and begin to qualify for lower rates.
The Magic of Telematics
One exciting development that’s on the cusp of a wide introduction across the Canadian insurance industry is telematics. These systems essentially track and report on driver habits by outfitting vehicles with monitoring technologies that keep tabs on things like, and are currently in place for owners of Alberta fleets:
Young people are far more likely to drive responsibly if they know someone is watching. Ask your broker about the New Driver Intelligence program, which employs telematics to track your teen’s habits on the road, and can bring peace of mind while also encouraging your child to be a safer driver from the get-go.
Insurance companies are also planning to introduce telematics as an optional feature of regular auto insurance programs. The idea is to reward drivers who consistently prioritize safety and good driving habits with lower rates.
Have Insurance Questions about Teen Drivers in Alberta? Want Answers? Call Lane’s.
At Lane’s Insurance, we understand you have concerns about your teen learning to drive, and we’re here to help guide you through the insurance process. Lane’s works only with Alberta’s most trusted carriers, and our brokers offer a wealth of knowledge and tips to parents looking to save money on their child’s car insurance.
Get started today by contacting Lane’s Insurance. Customer service representatives are standing by to answer your questions and assist you with all your insurance needs.