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Vehicle Safety Exemption Permits

The Vehicle Safety Section issues permits authorizing vehicle equipment exemptions from specific requirements of the Traffic Safety Act and its regulations. The most common permits issued by our section pertain to school buses and commercial buses; these permits allow the use of equipment that does not come equipped from the manufacturer. Examples include pulling a trailer, installation of strobe lights and adaptations for wheel chair lifts. Our permits do not grant allowances for over-weight or over-dimensional vehicles. Unusual vehicles that may pose a risk to the operator or other road users, because of their novel size or operating characteristics, will not be issued a permit for on-road use.

You can now apply for these exemption permits online. Signing up is free, but each exemption permit has a cost of $55.00.  To apply online for a permit click here. You will need to know your Motor Vehicle Identification number (MVID) to register, if you do not know what your MVID is please contact the Vehicle Safety Section.

To view an instructional video on the online application process, click here.  (If you do not wish to apply online please contact the Vehicle Safety Section to obtain an application.)

Transportation of Ill and Injured Workers, Mobile Treatment Centre Exemption

For many years there has been concern that mobile treatment centres (MTC) were sometimes used on a highway to inappropriately transport injured or ill workers to a hospital.  Three different government departments have legislation related to transporting injured workers.

The Alberta government has developed a unified approach to deal with vehicles and services used to transport injured or ill workers from the work site in such a manner that health and safety are maintained.

In October 2009 Alberta Transportation, Employment & Immigration, and Health & Wellness established the Transportation of Injured or ill Workers project team to review the issues and make recommendations to ensure the safe transportation of injured or ill workers in Alberta.  The objective was to develop a unified government approach to deal with vehicles and services used to transport injured or ill workers from the work site in such a manner that health and safety are maintained.

Alberta Employment and Immigration administers the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code.  The OHS Code requires employers to provide first aid services, supplies and equipment and must have arrangements in place to transport injured or ill workers from the work site to the nearest health care facility.  In addition, employers must provide transportation capable of accommodating a stretcher where a licensed ambulance is not readily available.  A MTC is sometimes used to fulfill this requirement.

Alberta’s Emergency Health Services Act requires persons providing emergency health services to patients by ambulance to meet the required standards and be licensed under the Act.

Alberta’s Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation, section 85, does not permit passengers to ride in a mobile treatment centre module carried in the bed of the truck; riding in a mobile treatment centre module is considered to be riding on a vehicle outside of the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle.  The Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation on the Queen’s Printer’s website.

The project team recommends Alberta Transportation, upon application and review of applications, issue exemptions under section 62 of the Traffic Safety Act, allowing mobile treatment centres to transport injured or ill workers, and first aid attendants, on a highway, in the rear of a mobile treatment centre module.

Transport within a mobile treatment centre module may only occur when the mobile treatment centre is being used to fulfill the emergency transport requirements under the OHS Code.  Before transport in a mobile treatment centre module is undertaken emergency medical dispatch must be contacted and a rendezvous with an ambulance must be arranged.  Injured or ill workers will be transported in mobile treatment centre only when an ambulance is not available.  Such transport in mobile treatment centre modules is to be minimized and is not meant to replace transport by a licensed ambulance when available.

These exemption conditions will ensure a minimum level of safety for both the worker and the first-aid attendant in the event of a vehicle collision; the conditions requiring:

  1. the use of licensed ambulances when available, only allowing transport in a mobile treatment centre in extenuating circumstances,
  2. mobile treatment centre modules to be certified as meeting specific Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), improving passenger safety in the instance of a rollover collision, and
  3. the mobile treatment centre modules are properly secured.

See above for instructions on applying for an exemption.

Notice of Exemption

The following permits are published pursuant to the Vehicle Equipment Regulation AR 122/2009 s. 114(1) and (3); as well as, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation AR 121/2009 s. 40.  The purpose of publishing this Notice of Exemption is to inform the person, organization or owners of the vehicle that is the subject of an exemption. 

For more information, please contact Vehicle Safety Standards.