Traffic Court is part of the Provincial Court of Alberta. It deals with offences pursuant to many provincial statutes and regulations, municipal bylaws and a few specified federal statutes. In spite of its name, Traffic Court is not limited to only hearing traffic related offences. Traffic Court does not deal with most offences created by federal statutes such as the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Young persons aged 12-17 years of age who are charged with a Provincial offence are dealt with in the Youth Division of the Provincial Court of Alberta. In some court locations there is a distinct Youth Traffic Court.
Trials in Traffic Court, whether involving an adult or a young person, are usually heard by a Justice of the Peace. However in some locations trials are heard by a Judge of the Provincial Court. Only Provincial Court Judges can hear traffic matters in the following matters:
- any proceeding that involves the death of an individual;
- any proceeding that involves the determination of whether any Charter rights have been infringed or denied;
- any issue relating to the constitutional validity of any law; or
- any proceeding that involves a determination of any aboriginal or treaty rights.
The majority of offences in Traffic Court start with a violation ticket. The violation ticket will specify the charge, and provide information about how and when a response must be made to the ticket. Many violation tickets don’t demand a court appearance however some violation tickets will specify that a court appearance is required. Charges in Traffic Court can also commence without using a violation ticket, in which case a person charged with an offence will receive a summons or some other form of court process that will indicate when and where a court appearance is required.
A person receiving a violation ticket or other court process involving an offence should carefully review the document to determine what action is required or permitted in response to the violation ticket or court process.
For more information
The following publication gives you more information about the Traffic Court. This publication is intended to provide information only. If you need advice, you should speak to a lawyer about your options.
You may pay fines at a courthouse or online.