Driving in Québec

In Québec, as you would expect, there are highway rules that all drivers must abide by. Some driving laws might be the same as in your home country, but it’s important to be aware of the ones that are different. You will also notice that the road signs can be slightly different … or surprising.

Here are a few important highway rules:

Speed limit:

In Québec, the speed limit is expressed in kilometres per hour. In towns, it is usually limited to 50 km/h; 90 km/h on the main roads; 100 km/h on highways. Speed limit signposts will be very visible, with black writing on a white background.

Blood Alcohol level:

Québec, as with the rest of Canada, enforces very strict drink-driving laws. The level of alcohol is limited to 80 milligrams for 100 millilitres of blood; which translates as 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content. Drink-driving is a criminal offence and is punished severely.


There are “stop” signs at each intersection; generally, the rule is that the first at the intersection is the first to go. Depending on the area, the “stop” sign might be “STOP” or “ARRÊT”. When stopping at a “stop” sign or at a traffic light, don’t stop at the light but before the intersection (look at the road markings) or you will be caught between the other cars.

Traffic lights:

Québec uses a conventional three-colour traffic light: green, orange, red. The orange light means that the light is about to turn red, so warning drivers to prepare to stop. There is also a light for pedestrians, with a timer. The timer tells you when the light will turn red; when the light is about to turn red, a “hand” will appear, telling you that it might be dangerous to cross the road.

At many intersections in Québec, it is permitted to turn right at a red light (although not on the island of Montréal). Drivers turning right at a red light must still yield to any vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians using the intersection.

Check out our blog posts for more information on how to rent a car in Montréal, or for ideas on where to drive to in Québec.

Photo credits: Unsplash

About the Author:

Living in Montreal since 2005 after France and the United States, I want to share with you how much I love Canada and my advice to successfully immigrate to Canada!

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