What We Do with Abandoned Vehicles on BC Highways

road maintenance on BC Highway
An example of what are likely unsalvageable vehicles.

Parked along the highway, abandoned vehicles can be eerie, mysterious, even menacing….

You can’t help but wonder…what happened to the occupants? What is the story behind the vehicle left behind?

Whenever the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure employees or contractors spot (or hear of) an unoccupied vehicle roadside, our first thought is safety. If the abandoned vehicle is in any part of a lane, or in the way of snow removal equipment, it’s a danger to traffic and will be towed immediately. (This is in the B.C. Transportation Act). So if your vehicle has broken down while you’re on the road, move it to the shoulder if you can do so safely, or call a tow truck, if you’re able.

A Path to Keeping Highways Clear

To keep highways and road shoulders unobstructed for traffic, the ministry has a procedure to deal with abandoned vehicles. The road surface, plus ditches and rights of way beyond the road surface, must all be kept clear, so our maintenance contractors can do tasks like brushing, spring cleaning and winter plowing. Here’s what happens…

If the unoccupied vehicle is not blocking traffic, police will post a notice on it, using (removable) spray paint, to advise that the vehicle will be towed within 72 hours (three days) if not removed. This lets everyone passing by, know that the situation is being handled – so there’s no need for concerned motorists to stop (and disrupt traffic).

Nobody likes abandoned vehicles, including self-help author Peter McWilliams, who said, “The road to positivity is strewn with the abandoned vehicles of the faint-hearted.”

For all abandoned vehicles, the RCMP obtain the vehicle identification number to find out who the last registered owner is, and if the vehicle was stolen or involved in a crime. If the vehicle was linked to a crime, the police handle everything from there.

Owner is Known

It the vehicle is not implicated in a crime, a double-registered letter is sent to the owner, by either the RCMP or the ministry. Owners are told that they must claim their vehicle within 14 days and pay for the towing and storage charges. If this is not done within the two-week time frame, the ministry will dispose of the vehicle.

Junkers Go to Salvage

If the vehicle is burned out, severely damaged or otherwise unsalvageable, it is towed directly from the road to a scrapyard, and the owners are advised that they are responsible for towing and disposal costs.

If the owner doesn’t claim their vehicle, or says they do not want the vehicle, the vehicle is off to the parts yard or wreckers. The ministry pays for the costs of towing, storage and disposal of the vehicle up to the 14-day limit, and receives the proceeds (if any) for the sale of the vehicle. If there is a balance of more than $10 from the transactions, then the owner is advised by letter. The letter states the amount of the balance that will be paid to the owner, within 14 days, if no information about liens (debts) against the vehicle are received by the ministry.

When Owner is Unknown

When the owner of an abandoned vehicle is unknown, the vehicle is held for up to 14 days. If no further information is received about the vehicle, it is legally transferred to a scrapyard to cover the costs of towing, storage and disposal. Should there be a balance of more than $10 after the transaction, the funds go into the provincial government’s general revenue account, as outlined in the Unclaimed Property Act.

Our process for keeping provincial routes clear of abandoned vehicles is geared to safety, and ensuring the costs of managing these vehicles is covered as fairly as possible. We solve the mystery of where (most of) the abandoned vehicles come from, and determine where they’ll go next, to free up our highways and keep you moving safely and untroubled.

Road SafetyWhat steps would you take, if your car broke down on a provincial route?

43 comments on “What We Do with Abandoned Vehicles on BC Highways”

Leave a Reply to mak it right Cancel reply

  1. I had to abandon my vehicle on the westbound freeway at about 216th in Langley I have called the rcmp and clover towing neither has been to helpful I understand if I voluntarily surrender my car it would be towed directly to a wrecker .I hope that is the case it is a 1994 Toyota Camry. Fl965j

    Reply
    • Thanks for connecting with us here William – we’ve followed up with our staff to confirm and will let you know what we hear back.

      Reply
  2. The is a black Mitsubishi SUV parked at Trout Lake on Highway 101 which has been there for at least a couple of weeks. Has police tape on it and now beer bottles on the hood. Although it is clear of the traffic lanes, why has it been sitting there so long?

    Reply
        • Good afternoon Connie – thanks for following up! We just spoke with our staff in the area about this. They are aware of the vehicle and confirmed that the tape on the vehicle indicates that the car has been identified as potentially abandoned by the RCMP (sometimes it can take awhile to contact the owner). If you have any further questions, we encourage you to reach out directly to the RCMP. Hope that this is helpful!

          Reply
  3. We live next to small resort in Sorrento bc, which has a public road between us. For last 10 years, ( since new owners bought Resort), this resort has rented RV parking site ‘on highways road allowance!!! ” And right cross street from our driveway which is access for 4 residential lots. We’ve asked manager to stop blocking our access for work Dump trucks, etc. in summer. However, instead, the resort has consistently blocked our access to delivery service vehicles and dump trucks by parking large 30+ 5th wheel trailers there, with ‘bump outs’ hanging well over road which causes hazard for both truckers and occupants of said trailers. We’ve had dump trucks who’ve had stop and ask said trailer owners of Resort to move their trailers so they can get into our driveway! However, ’owners of said trailers are not always around’’’….so we can’t Always get our deliveries…even though we’re paying 150.00 delivery fees which charged anyways. I think the ‘’’best resolution is for your highways department to install cement pylons across from our driveway at outer limited of highway allowance to ‘once and for all’ stop this resorts constantly encroachment onto highways land, which blocks our driveway’’’. If this were done, then it wouldn’t be a constant problem every summer whereby I have to contact your department about our blocked access for utility/medical vehicles/fire trucks if needed. I’ve contacted Amy Barr, local rep for highways In Sorrento, but have not seen any resolution to Resort On Grant Road renting RV spot at end of our driveway. In fact today, we had big truck delivery and he mentioned its was very difficult to Even access our property for an order’…I quote driver! And this was a medium truck…not nearly as large as dump trucks we have come over the summer. Can you please follow up with me for a resolution regarding our ‘Legal Right under the BC highways act to access our property safely for all said works”.

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for letting us know of your concerns about parked RVs overhanging public roads and blocking access to your property for large vehicles. I have forwarded your comments to Aimee Barre, for her information and will get back to you here.

      Reply
  4. Police take great liberties. I parked my Jeep at 10:00am to go to ICBC and get my BMW back. Within a few hours they were ready to get it towed as an “abandoned vehicle” less than a few hours later. It wasn’t on a roadway (I couldn’t find anywhere to park the meters were all out of service). They called a tow truck and my fiancee was left scrambling to get help to move it back as she doesn’t drive.

    Its a corporate vehicle with valid insurance. Cops are gone nuts for fines these days

    Reply
  5. What about abandoned RV’s? I know of a travel trailer that was left in front of a friends house and now that friend is moving and he wants the trailer gone. He says I can have it but I’m not sure I would be able to register it in my name. The VIN is faded away on the side of the trailer and there are no papers in the trailer and we can not contact the owner of the trailer. What to do?

    Reply
  6. In interested in taking ownership of an abandoned Vehicle.
    The story is it was a repo, and the owning company no longer exists. And no one knows who the man is.
    The guy who’s land it’s on can’t legally sell it because there is no papers. Hasn’t been stickered in 15 years.
    Where do I start?

    Reply
  7. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired!
    Extremely helpful info specially the ultimate section ?? I care for such information a lot.
    I used to be looking for this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

    Reply
  8. Hello, to Anyone to which can help. I am from Penticton Bc, I have a messy ordeal I am dealing with. I had bought a vehicle for My wife and I as a project, it is a 72 two tone Dodge, when I bought the truck i spent about 6 months making sure it was safe to move as needed under its own power.(if needed) when spring came I had the truck towed from the naboring community to ours and the complex where i live just so happened to have some contractors working on the building and had taken my spot for there equipment. I then made a quick decision to have the truck dropped off near what I thought was an easement and partial overflow drainage area. I took the opportunity to post a sale sign on it for the flat bed as it was only about 60-70ft from the local bypass. surly the flat bed sold and the guy came and took it off the truck the next day. the following day my wife happened to be going by and noticed a couple of guys looking at the truck so i went down to see. by the time I got there, the RCMP had arrived. It was brought to my attention that the land was Native land, I explained the situation and that I was planning to move the truck right away and there was no problem, I asked for a number if I needed to call someone , they said no its ok, I offered my number and they said no again, and that as long as it was going to be moved it was not a problem, that following weekend as my luck would have it someone stle some parts and i had to wait till Monday to get them replaced. Monday came I fixed the truck and was gong to tow it back home the next morning. Then the following day I go to find my truck is gone. I believe but not certain, that the officer took it upon himself to tow the truck. there was no Signage, it was well off the road, and in fact had to travel down a fair bit of dirt road used buy other locals to get to it. I had tools in the truck from working on it and a few other tools I just put in the truck to go with it. I call the towing company witch is owned by an EX RCMP and they have towed it because they claim it was trespassing. I finally about 4-5 days later get to the tow yard with a copy of registration and they have taken all my belongings out of the vehicle.About $1500 worth of tools, They have decided to charge me $75 dollars a day for storage, Because they say its over size. Less then 14ft plus the size of a reg cab dodge truck Maybe 21ft. and they will not except the copy of my regi. because it is a copy. thus putting more time on the storage.
    from what I can tell the property owner is incurring the cost due to lack of notice, property owner is bound to 72 hour notice unless its damaging the property or himself. there was no signage what so ever. And Im almost two weeks into this Ordeal. I am on a very limited income of $200 a month and its the first vehicle Ive had since i have had a back surgery, it was a plan to start a small business with this truck and had taken almost a year to cover the cost of the truck transporting it and some of the repairs with out income. I have be as diligent as possible and was told about the Tom Foolery (lack of a better term) this towing company tries to pull long before I got into this project over hearing other horror stories.

    Reply
  9. a similar question to some above, I live in the sunshine coast regional district. My neighbor parks four vehicles on the road allowance off the paved right of way. He has space on his property but insists on parking them all on a blind corner. Im more annoyed by the eyesore. Is there a limitation on how many or how long you can park off your property? or is this the intention of this 15 ft wide strip? thanks !

    Reply
  10. Hi tranbceditor ,
    This was a great information about the resolving of issue permanently in a car during driving easily by using the service of Victoria car removal in Melbourne with in a short period of time a start your journey safe and fast without any trouble shoot ,If your car is still running before you sell it to the junkyard due to any kind of issue then you must use the service of car removal in Melbourne , you might want to use up the gasoline in the tank before you have it towed away. Depending on the size of the tank in your car or truck, the value of the gasoline in the tank can represent a substantial portion of the total value of the price you’re getting from the junkyard. If your car isn’t running, be careful if you attempt to siphon gasoline from the tank. Use only approved containers to carry the gasoline, and never start a siphon using your mouth. Don’t worry about the value of the gas to the junkyard. They’ll have to drain all the fluids out of your car before recycling or scrapping the parts, and gasoline in the tank is a nuisance for them.
    Thanks .

    Reply
    • Hi Car Removal Melbourne,

      Thanks for your comments and the good advice about siphoning gasoline.

      While the capital of British Columbia (Canada) is Victoria, this province is very far away from the State of Victoria (Australia)and its capital of Melbourne.

      Safe travels wherever you go!

      Reply
  11. So if an abbandoned car is not part of a vene, stolen and owners are unknown, why doesn’t the government sell the cars in good condition insted of taking them to junk yard as the article said, unless i mosread something.

    Reply
    • Hi Britany. The Abandoned Vehicle Policy states the tow company that retrieves the abandoned vehicle is required to hold it for 14 days while the owner, if that can be determined, has a chance to recover their vehicle. If not, then the Repairers Lien Act takes effect and the tow company takes possession of the vehicle and they are entitled to try and recover any costs not covered by the tow bill. If there is a residual value, they are required to return that money to the Minister of Finance.

      Reply
  12. This is a follow up to your response of December 19, 2017 as the reply button does not seem to work:

    Yes, it is a comprehensive reply but essentially useless for most people who come here and read this thread. Very few of them are going to take the time to try and puzzle through everything posted there and then decide if it applies to their situation.

    Perhaps one of your experts would consider trying to distill that into plain English.

    Reply
    • Hi DriveSmart,
      Sorry to complicate the matter – that was not our intention. We included as much information as we could but we can summarize as well. A highway is both the road and the land on both sides of it (also known as the right of way). There is no minimum standard width on either side of the centreline which constitutes the right of way. The extent of the right of way can vary depending on many factors including when and where the road was built and legally established. Depending on geography the road itself may not always occupy the middle of the right of way. In these ways (and in some of the other details we laid out before) there is no easy answer to this question. We hope this helps somewhat. Regarding the comments on this blog, they are automatically held, so we can review and reply at the same time. Thanks for connecting with us. Let us know if you want any more information and we will do our best to get it for you.

      Reply
  13. Perhaps the most important thing that you could do for this conversation is to explain exactly what a highway is.

    In a rural area, would I be wrong in concluding that highway is the area between the adjacent property line and the center of the roadway?

    Reply
    • Hi DriveSmart and thanks for your question. We sent it to our engineers who informed us that the definition of a highway varies as outlined in the BC Transportation Act. Essentially, a highway encompasses the right-of-way owned by the province set aside for the existing highway and it’s improvement. For example, when the inland island highway was under construction, the ministry bought the right-of-way north of Nanaimo on up to Campbell River. This land encompassed a 100 metre wide strip of land for the highway, where the paved portion only sits on a small fraction of that. So, with these kind of variances in mind (and any municipal jurisdiction considerations) the highway is all of the road area and both sides of the roadway, as far as it extends to the nearest adjacent property line.

      Here’s a link to the official description: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/lc/statreg/04044_01#section1

      And here are some excerpts the engineers shared back with us.

      Definitions
      1 In this Act:
      “arterial highway” means any of the following that has not ceased to be an arterial highway under section 45 (1) (b):
      (a) any land that becomes an arterial highway under section 44.1;
      (b) any land, improvement or highway that
      (i) is designated as an arterial highway under section 45 (1) (a), or
      (ii) becomes an arterial highway under section 56 (2) (a);
      “highway” means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following:
      (a) deposit of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan in a land title office under section 107 of the Land Title Act;
      (b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;
      (c) a common law dedication made by the government or any other person;
      (d) declaration, by notice in the Gazette, made before December 24, 1987;
      (e) in the case of a road, colouring, outlining or designating the road on a record in such a way that section 13 or 57 of the Land Act applies to that road;
      (f) an order under section 56 (2) of this Act;
      (g) any other prescribed means;

      Dedicated land becoming provincial public highways
      43 If a person agrees under section 3 (1) of the Expropriation Act or otherwise to dedicate land to the government to become a highway, the minister may, for the purposes of section 107 of the Land Title Act, prepare and deposit with the registrar of the applicable land title office an explanatory plan showing that land as highway, and, in that event,
      (a) section 107 (1) (c) and (d) and (3) of the Land Title Act applies, and
      (b) the dedicated land becomes a provincial public highway.

      Arterial highway created on deposit of plan
      44.1 (1) The deposit in a land title office of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan that shows land as an arterial highway operates to make that land an arterial highway if the land surveyor who signed the plan certifies on the plan, in the prescribed form, that he or she was authorized by the minister to show that land as an arterial highway.
      (2) After a plan referred to in subsection (1) is deposited in a land title office, the minister must publish, in the prescribed manner, notice of the deposit of the plan and of the creation of the arterial highway effected by that deposit.
      Designation of highways as arterial
      45 (1) Without limiting section 44.1, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, on the recommendation of the minister,
      (a) designate as an arterial highway all or any part of
      (i) any land or improvement in a municipality that has been expropriated or otherwise acquired by the government,
      (ii) a municipal highway that has been resumed under section 35 of the Community Charter, or
      (iii) any land or improvement in a municipality referred to in section 35 (2) (a) to (f) and (j) of the Community Charter, and
      (b) order that all or any part of any land, improvement or highway referred to in the definition of “arterial highway” cease to be an arterial highway.
      (2) After an order is made under subsection (1), the minister must publish notice of the order in the prescribed manner.

      Division 6 — Ownership of Highways
      Soil and freehold of provincial public highways vested in government
      57 Unless otherwise provided for in this Act, the soil and freehold of every provincial public highway is vested in the government.
      Transfers of highways and other land
      58 (1) In this section, “provincial public highway” does not include
      (a) a ferry landing,
      (b) a highway on land leased to the government unless that highway is a bridge, or
      (c) a highway that is part of the major road network within the meaning of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act.
      (2) Subject to subsection (5), the authority
      (a) holds all of the government’s right and title in and to the soil and freehold of every provincial public highway in British Columbia, and
      (b) acquires all of the government’s right and title in and to the soil and freehold of every provincial public highway that comes into being.
      (3) This section does not affect any powers, duties, functions and liabilities, in relation to highways, of the government, the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister or ministry, another minister or ministry or another authority under
      (a) this Act or any other enactment,
      (b) any contract, licence or permit, or
      (c) the law.
      (4) The authority, in relation to a provincial public highway referred to in subsection (2), does not hold, because of subsection (2), any of the powers, duties, functions and liabilities referred to in subsection (3), except for the purpose of accounting for the provincial public highways, and does not have, and has not had, since acquiring the right and title referred to in subsection (2), any of those powers, duties, functions and liabilities except for that purpose.
      (5) The authority may transfer to the government the authority’s right and title in and to the soil and freehold of any provincial public highway and, in that event, subsection (2) does not apply to that provincial public highway.
      (6) Subsection (2) does not operate to constitute the authority as an occupier, within the meaning of the Occupiers Liability Act, of a provincial public highway.

      Authorization of use or occupation of provincial public highways
      62 (1) A person must not use or occupy, including do anything to or cause any thing to be constructed or deposited on, a provincial public highway or any land or improvement related to a provincial public highway, unless the person is authorized to do so under this Part, under another enactment, by a lease entered into under section 13 (2) (a) or at law.
      (2) The minister may, on terms and conditions the minister considers appropriate, authorize any person to use or occupy, in any manner and for any purpose, including a commercial purpose, the whole or any part of a provincial public highway, or land or improvements related to a provincial public highway, and, in that event, the person may engage in the authorized activity despite any other provision of this Act.
      (3) Without limiting any other terms and conditions the minister may impose in relation to an authorization under this section, the minister may, as part of the terms and conditions on which an authorization is provided, do one or more of the following:
      (a) establish the period during which the authorization remains effective;
      (b) provide for termination of the authorization on the occurrence of an event or condition specified by the minister;
      (c) limit, regulate or prohibit access to or entry on the provincial public highway, land or improvement in relation to which the authorization is given;
      (d) charge and collect a fee for the authorization in an amount approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or, if the authorization is in the nature of a licence, charge not less than a market rent for that licence.
      (4) An authorization under subsection (2) must be in writing unless the authorization is provided to a person who is to engage in the authorized activity within the course of his or her employment as a public officer.
      (5) The minister may amend or terminate an authorization given under subsection (2) in relation to a provincial public highway, land or an improvement in any of the following circumstances:
      (a) the minister believes that the amendment or termination is necessary to protect the health or safety of a person using or near the provincial public highway, land or improvement;
      (b) the minister believes that there is an urgent public need to amend or terminate the authorization;
      (c) the minister believes that the amendment or termination is necessary to
      (i) protect and preserve the integrity of the provincial public highway, land or improvement, or
      (ii) operate the provincial public highway in the most efficient and effective manner;
      (d) the minister believes that the authorization has resulted in an unreasonable impediment to the minister’s ability to exercise one or more of the minister’s rights, powers or advantages under this Act;
      (e) the holder of the authorization has breached any of the terms and conditions on which the authorization was granted.
      (6) In addition to the minister’s ability to give authorizations under subsection (2), the minister may
      (a) prescribe one or more general authorizations under which all persons or specified classes of persons are authorized to use or occupy one or more of the following:
      (i) any or all provincial public highways;
      (ii) one or more classes of provincial public highways;
      (iii) any other land or improvement, or class of land or improvements, related to a provincial public highway, and
      (b) in relation to any authorization prescribed under this subsection, prescribe terms and conditions applicable to that authorization, including, without limitation, terms and conditions respecting the manner in which and the purpose for which the provincial public highway, land or improvement referred to in the regulation may be used or occupied.
      (7) A person to whom a regulation referred to in subsection (6) applies may use or occupy the provincial public highways, land or improvements to which the regulation applies in the manner and for the purposes provided in the regulation without obtaining an individual authorization from the minister under subsection (2).
      Unauthorized use
      63 (1) The minister may furnish a notice to any person who the minister believes is contravening or has contravened section 62 (1).
      (2) A notice under subsection (1)
      (a) must require the person to stop any contravention the minister believes is ongoing, and
      (b) may require the person to take specified remedial actions.
      (3) If a notice under subsection (1) includes a requirement under subsection (2) (b), Division 4 of Part 2 applies.
      Division 2 — Abnormal Use of Provincial Public Undertakings
      Interference with provincial public undertakings
      64 (1) A person must not
      (a) directly or indirectly interfere with or obstruct the planning, design, acquisition, holding, construction, use, operation, upgrading, alteration, expansion, extension, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, protection, removal, discontinuance or closure of a provincial public undertaking, or of any related land or improvement, that is authorized under this Act, another enactment or at law, or
      (b) moor or attach a vessel or other floating object to a bridge or other structure that forms part of a provincial public undertaking, other than a terminal.
      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who does anything referred to in subsection (1) if the thing done is within the course of the person’s employment as a public officer.
      Minister may furnish notice
      65 (1) The minister may furnish a notice to any person who the minister believes is contravening or has contravened section 64 (1).
      (2) A notice under subsection (1) of this section
      (a) must require the person to stop any contravention the minister believes is ongoing, and
      (b) may require the person to take specified remedial actions.
      (3) If a notice under subsection (1) includes a requirement under subsection (2) (b), Division 4 of Part 2 applies.
      Extraordinary traffic
      66 (1) In this section, “extraordinary traffic” includes the carriage of goods or persons over a provincial public highway, whether in vehicles drawn by animal power or propelled by other means, that in conjunction with the nature or existing condition of the provincial public highway is so extraordinary or improper
      (a) in the quality or quantity of the goods or the number of persons carried,
      (b) in the mode or time of use of the provincial public highway, or
      (c) in the speed at which the vehicles are driven or operated,
      as, in the opinion of the minister, substantially alters or increases the burden imposed on the provincial public highway through its proper use by ordinary traffic, and causes damage and expense to the provincial public highway beyond what is reasonable or ordinary.
      (2) If the minister believes that a provincial public highway is liable to damage through extraordinary traffic, the minister may limit, prohibit or make directions respecting the use of the provincial public highway by a person operating or in charge of the extraordinary traffic or owning the goods carried by it or the vehicles used in it.
      (3) Any person to whom this section might otherwise apply may, with the approval of the minister, enter into an agreement for the payment to the government of compensation for the damage or expense that may, in the opinion of the minister, be caused by the extraordinary traffic, and, in that event, the person may use the provincial public highway in the manner contemplated by the agreement despite any limitation, prohibition or direction of the minister under subsection (2) that would otherwise affect that use.

      Minister has municipality’s rights, powers and advantages
      47 In addition to any other rights, powers and advantages held by the minister in relation to an arterial highway under this Act, the minister
      (a) has, and may exercise, in relation to the arterial highway, all of the rights, powers and advantages to plan, design, acquire, hold, construct, use, operate, upgrade, alter, expand, extend, maintain, repair, rehabilitate, protect, remove, discontinue, close and dispose of the arterial highway that,
      (i) in the case of an arterial highway referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of “arterial highway” in section 1, the affected municipality had before the arterial highway was designated as such under this Act, or
      (ii) in the case of any other arterial highway, the affected municipality would have were the highway not an arterial highway,
      (b) has, and may exercise, in relation to any improvement on, under, over or related to the arterial highway, all of the rights, powers and advantages to plan, design, acquire, hold, construct, use, operate, upgrade, alter, expand, extend, maintain, repair, rehabilitate, protect, remove, discontinue, close and dispose of the improvement that,
      (i) in the case of an arterial highway referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of “arterial highway” in section 1, the affected municipality had before the arterial highway was designated as such under this Act, or
      (ii) in the case of any other arterial highway, the affected municipality would have were the highway not an arterial highway,
      (c) has, and may exercise, all of the rights, powers and advantages under any contract relating to the arterial highway or any related improvement that,
      (i) in the case of an arterial highway referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of “arterial highway” in section 1, the affected municipality had before the arterial highway was designated as such under this Act, or
      (ii) in the case of any other arterial highway, the affected municipality would have were the highway not an arterial highway, and
      (d) may sue in the name of the minister to enforce any of the rights, powers or advantages referred to in this section.
      Division 3 — Controlled Access Highways
      Controlled access highways
      48 (1) The minister may, by order,
      (a) designate all or any part of a provincial public highway as a controlled access highway, and
      (b) remove the designation of “controlled access highway” from all or any part of a highway.
      (2) If a provincial public highway designated as a controlled access highway under subsection (1) was, before that designation, a rural highway, an arterial highway or a scenic highway, the provisions of this or any other enactment that apply to rural, arterial or scenic highways, as the case may be, continue to apply to the controlled access highway for so long as it is a rural highway, an arterial highway or a scenic highway.
      (3) After an order is made under subsection (1), the minister must publish notice of the order in the prescribed manner.
      Restrictions on access
      49 (1) A person must not,
      (a) without the authorization of the minister, construct or reopen, or allow the construction or reopening of, any means of access to or from a controlled access highway, or
      (b) obtain access to or from any controlled access highway other than by way of an access point
      (i) constructed by the minister, or
      (ii) authorized by the minister under paragraph (a).
      (2) An authorization under subsection (1) must be in writing unless the authorization is provided to a person who is to engage in the authorized activity within the course of his or her employment as a public officer.
      Unauthorized access
      50 (1) If the minister believes that there is a location at or through which unauthorized access to or from a controlled access highway may be obtained, the minister may furnish a notice to the owner or occupier of the land to or from which that access may be obtained requiring the person to seal off the access point in the manner and within the time specified by the minister.
      (2) Division 4 of Part 2 applies to a notice under subsection (1).
      Authorization for constructing or reopening access
      51 (1) The minister may, on terms and conditions the minister considers appropriate, provide to a person an authorization to construct or reopen, or allow the construction or reopening of, any means of access to or from a controlled access highway.
      (2) Without limiting other terms and conditions the minister may impose in relation to an authorization under this section, the minister may, as part of the terms and conditions on which an authorization may be provided, do one or more of the following:
      (a) establish the location and form of the authorized access;
      (b) require the person to whom the authorization is provided to construct, upgrade, alter, expand, extend, repair, rehabilitate or protect any improvement that the minister considers necessary to facilitate the required access;
      (c) establish terms and conditions relating to the planning, design, acquisition, holding, construction, use, operation, upgrading, alteration, expansion, extension, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, protection, removal, discontinuance, closure and disposition of the access, including, without limitation, the standards to which that work is to be completed;
      (d) impose limitations on the authorized access;
      (e) charge and collect a fee for the authorization in the amount prescribed.
      (3) The minister may amend or terminate an authorization given in relation to a controlled access highway under subsection (1) in any of the following circumstances:
      (a) the minister believes that the amendment or termination is necessary to protect the health or safety of a person who is or may be using, or who is near to, a provincial public undertaking;
      (b) the minister believes that there is an urgent public need to amend or terminate the authorization;
      (c) the minister believes that the amendment or termination is necessary to
      (i) protect or preserve the integrity of the controlled access highway, or
      (ii) operate the controlled access highway in the most efficient and effective manner;
      (d) the minister believes that the authorization has resulted in an unreasonable impediment to the minister’s ability to exercise one or more of the minister’s rights, powers or advantages under this Act;
      (e) the holder of the authorization has breached any of the terms and conditions on which the authorization was granted.
      Development near controlled access highway
      52 (1) In this section:
      “controlled area” means, in relation to an intersection of a controlled access highway with any other highway, land and improvements within a radius of 800 metres from the intersection;
      “zoning bylaw” means
      (a) a zoning bylaw under the Local Government Act, or
      (b) for a community planning area, a zoning bylaw under the Local Services Act.
      (2) The minister may enter into an agreement under this section with the municipality or regional district in which a controlled area is located.
      (3) A zoning bylaw of a municipality or regional district does not apply to a controlled area unless
      (a) the bylaw has been approved in writing by the minister or any person designated in writing by the minister before its adoption, or
      (b) the bylaw is in compliance with the terms of an agreement referred to in subsection (2) between the minister and the municipality or regional district.
      (4) If the minister enters into an agreement referred to in subsection (2) with a municipality or regional district,
      (a) a zoning bylaw is in compliance with that agreement, for the purposes of subsection (3) (b), if and for so long as
      (i) development within the controlled area complies with a plan that forms part of or is identified in the agreement, and
      (ii) the municipality or regional district complies with the terms of the agreement, and
      (b) a zoning bylaw that is not in compliance with the agreement must be submitted to the minister for approval in writing under subsection (3) (a).

      Phew!

      Reply
  14. There used to be a program spearheaded by Peter Gooch that covered the tow company’s costs to recover and dispose of an abandoned vehicle. Does this program not exist anymore?. Our company was called out a 3 am to recover an unregistered vehicle left blocking part of a road. RCMP won’t pay the bill, MOT used to. So who do we submit billing to?

    Reply
  15. this whole system is a joke , i read ” the owner is responsible for the towing and disposal costs ” G wonder why they left it there to start with , gov’t can cover the jump start a junkie program costs , but wants towing company’s to jump through this and that for payment , adding yet even more costs to the already not getting paid situation , a joke !

    Reply
  16. What is the rule about people parking their vehicles on the road allowance on the side of residential roads, in town? There has been a pick up truck parked across the road from my home for over four years now. It belongs to the neighbour on the other side of the hedge. He says this road allowance is his property, and he can leave it there as long as he wants. He has put it there to store it, as it is out of his sight, out of his mind. It is an eyesore and is parked facing the wrong direction.

    Reply
    • Hi Mandy,

      This sounds like a question for your municipality. If you connect with them, they should be able to determine what can be done. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  17. I would like to know the same thing there are some vehicles that were left behind by people working on a project and have been left there for over a year now.

    Reply
    • Hi Elliott,

      Are they on a provincial highway? If they are you can contact your local district office for more information. If they are not, you might start by contacting the local municipality to get more information on the project company etc. Hope that this helps.

      Reply
  18. To whom it may concern;
    One week ago while hiking in the bush I came across a vehicle in the bush. I notified the RCMP of this vehicle. Today while hiking, I noticed the vehicle was still there. When is a vehicle considered abandoned? Complicating things is the fact the vehicle had Alberta plates. I know how to recover the vehicle with minimal or no damage. I would like to either notify the owner or the Alberta insurer of this fact. If they are not interested what steps do I need to take to recover this vehicle as salvage?
    Thank you.
    Feel free to contact me at;
    H:250-724-9839
    C:250-735-1433
    email: gvezina@shaw.ca

    Reply
    • Hi Glenn
      Thanks for the comment. It would help us to know where the vehicle is so we can follow up appropriately. We’ll connect with you through your email.

      Reply