These are the top 10 most ticketed cities in Alberta

These are the top 10 most ticketed cities in Alberta

Drivers who ignore the rules of the road may get slapped with a traffic conviction and higher auto insurance premiums for up to three years. Find out the most ticketed cities in Alberta.

Key findings:

  • Overall, 36% of Fort Saskatchewan drivers who got a car insurance quote from LowestRates.ca reported having a traffic ticket on their driving record, making it the most ticketed city in Alberta.
  • Drivers with one minor traffic conviction may not see their auto insurance rate change; however, those with two or more convictions can expect their premium to rise by at least 25%.
  • On average, high-risk drivers pay $8,000 to $10,000 a year for facility insurance, but some pay more than $20,000 annually — significantly more than those with clean driving records.

If you think stop signs are optional and speed limits are more like suggestions rather than the law, you may wind up with a traffic ticket. The problem won’t necessarily be the small fine or warning to adhere to the rules of the road; it will be what that conviction does to your insurance premium.

Depending on the severity of the offence and your driving history, a traffic conviction can increase your insurance premium for up to three years. That’s in addition to a hefty fine and, in some cases, demerit point penalties, which can linger on your driving record for 10 years.

Some drivers happen to be more ticket-prone than the rest. In reviewing LowestRates.ca auto insurance quoter data from January 1, 2019, to July 31, 2021, we set out to find the Alberta cities (with a minimum population of 10,000) that generated the highest percentage of self-reported traffic tickets. We considered any ticket, no matter how major or minor, and these tickets could have been issued in the driver’s hometown or anywhere they’ve driven.

While these cities aren’t necessarily home to the worst drivers in Canada, they did make the top 10 in terms of traffic tickets in Alberta, a province known for its mountainous driving conditions.

10 most ticketed cities in Alberta

According to LowestRates.ca data, Fort Saskatchewan tops the list as the most ticketed city in Alberta. Roughly 36% of Fort Saskatchewan drivers who got a quote from our site reported having a traffic ticket on their record.

These are the top 10 most ticketed cities in Alberta:

  1. Fort Saskatchewan
  2. Cochrane
  3. Airdrie
  4. Leduc
  5. Sherwood Park
  6. Banff
  7. Okotoks
  8. Spruce Grove
  9. Grande Prairie
  10. Fort McMurray

How can traffic tickets affect your auto insurance?

While LowestRates.ca data doesn’t distinguish between major and minor traffic tickets, here is an idea of how a traffic conviction can influence auto insurance rates in Alberta.

Major traffic convictions

Drivers who receive a major conviction have committed one of a series of offences under the Traffic Safety Act or similar enactment of Canada, including but not limited to failing to remain at the scene of an accident, speeding in a school zone, speeding in excess of 50 kilometres per hour, and careless driving.

Drivers who get ticketed for a major offence have usually committed an action that puts others at undue risk, whether it’s other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. For this reason, drivers will see an immediate surcharge on their insurance premium if convicted. According to the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB), which regulates auto insurance prices in Alberta, first-time offenders can see a 25% increase in their premiums.

Multiple traffic incidents will only increase rates further. Here is a breakdown of the number of major convictions and the surcharge drivers can expect to pay.

Number of convictionsSurcharge for major convictions
125%
250%
3100%
4200%
5400%
6800%
7 or moreFor each additional conviction, double the preceding percentage

 

Minor traffic convictions

Drivers with a minor traffic conviction have committed a less serious offence than a major conviction under the Traffic Safety Act or similar enactment of Canada. Some minor traffic offences include speeding in a construction zone (exceeding the limit by up to 15 km/hr), following too close, passing on a hill, driving left of the centre line, and impeding a passing vehicle.  

Often, drivers with a first-time offence will not see an increase in their insurance rate. However, drivers should heed the warning nonetheless. A second conviction will increase rates by 25% and a third by 35%, according to AIRB — a far more significant consequence.

Here is an overview of the number of minor convictions and the surcharge insurance providers can charge.

Number of convictionsSurcharge for minor convictions
10%
225%
335%
450%
575%
6100%
7 or moreFor each additional conviction, double the preceding percentage

High-risk drivers pay more for car insurance

While an at-fault collision or traffic conviction can temporarily increase your auto insurance rate, high-risk driving behaviour is a surefire way to make your premium skyrocket. So much so that you might find it challenging to get an affordable rate anywhere.

High-risk drivers should compare auto insurance to see what options are available. If they don’t qualify for traditional insurance, they have a last resort: the Facility Association. Since auto insurance is mandatory in Canada, drivers must have access to insurance; however, the privilege comes at a cost when you’ve been deemed too high-risk to insure elsewhere.

Drivers will pay roughly two to three times more for facility insurance than a traditional policy, costing an average of $8,000 to $10,000 a year. For the riskiest drivers, an insurance policy might be double that amount. That’s $20,000 annually, roughly the cost of the most affordable brand new vehicle. Having a clean driving record is the easiest way to get cheap car insurance rates. However, if you have a ticket, good driving behaviours can lower your premium over time.

Methodology

We analyzed data from the LowestRates.ca auto insurance quoter spanning January 1, 2019, to July 31, 2021, to determine the most ticketed cities in Alberta. Data refer to the percentage of quotes in each city where drivers self-reported at least one traffic ticket. To be included, cities must have a population of at least 10,000 and generate at least one quote per day on our site.

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About the author

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is an editor/writer in the personal finance space. Her work has also appeared in Global News. She is passionate about financial literacy and the pursuit of knowledge through lifelong learning.

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