Monthly Enforcement

March STEP – Focus on Occupant Restraints

The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) focus for March will focus on Occupant Restraints.  Seatbelt laws came into effect in Alberta on July 1, 1987.  Restraint systems in vehicles have changed drastically since that time with the development of airbags, improvements in child safety seats and vehicle design.In Alberta, children are required to ride in a child safety seat until they are a minimum of 6 years old OR over 18 kg (40 lbs).  The guidelines regarding child safety seats and determining which type of seat your child should be in, are as follows:

Rear-facing child safety seat:

Birth to 2 years of age or until they reach the weight or height limit of the rear-facing car seat.


Until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the forward-facing car seat.

Booster Seat:

Booster seats are recommended when the child out grows the forward-facing car seat.  Booster seats should be used until the vehicle seat belt fits properly OR the child is 145cm (5’9”) tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.

Do not rush to put your baby in a forward-facing seat.  The rear-facing position is the safest.  Some child safety seats are designed to be used rear-facing up to 18kg (40 lbs).  Some forward-facing seats may be used with the 5-point harness up to 30kg (65 lbs).

*The manufacturer’s instructions and labels on each seat state the specific weight, size and/or age of child that the seat will protect.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your seat.

A child is ready to move to a seat belt when he/she can:

  • • Sit with the lap portion of the belt low across the hips

  • • Sit with the shoulder part of the belt crossing between the neck and arm

  • • Sit with his knees bent comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat

  • • Sit with his back against the back of the vehicle seat without slouching AND

  • • Remain in this position for the whole trip

Information on notices and recalls of child safety seats can be found at: or by calling Transport Canada toll free at  1-800-333-0371.

Throughout the month, members of the Medicine Hat Police Service will be conducting seat belt check stops to ensure seat belt compliance as well as proper installation and fit of child safety seats.  The fine for seat belt and child safety seat offences in Alberta is $155.

For parents needing a hand to ensure their car seats are properly installed, Safety City offers a free clinic each Wednesday from 1-3 PM at the Crestwood Card Wash located at 1533 Dunmore Road SE.  For those who need an evening appointment, stop by Murray Chevrolet, located at 1270 Trans Canada Way SE, on the fourth Thursday of each month between the hours of 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

Media Contact:
Acting Sgt Brent Bohrn
Traffic Unit
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8471

March 2017 - Focus on Animal Licensing

The March 2016 Bylaw Education and Enforcement Program (BEEP) will focus on cat and dog licensing. 

The City of Medicine Hat Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw requires that all dogs and cats be licensed.  A license identifies your pet as an important member of your family and greatly improves the chances of your lost pet being returned to you with little stress on the animal or your family.

Licenses are valid for one year from the date of issue, and are available at City Hall, Alberta Pound and Rescue Center and the Medicine Hat Police Service.  License fees are $50 per year for a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered, and $15 per year for a dog or cat that is spayed or neutered.  There is also a one-time lifetime license option available for $150 if your cat or dog is not spayed or neutered or $80 if your cat or dog is spayed or neutered and has a microchip implanted.  The fine for failing to properly license your dog or cat is $500. 

To update your dog or cat license information or to confirm the status of your pet’s license please call 529-8436.

For more information on this program contact:
Heather Trail
Supervisor of Municipal Bylaw Enforcement
Phone: 403-529-8436