Alberta: Illegally armoured vehicles removed from the streets

Government of Alberta and police work together to combat gang violence.

As of July 1, gang members will be hit where it hurts with a new law that removes their illegally armoured vehicles from Alberta roads.
Armoured vehicles are motor vehicles constructed or adapted to protect its occupants from weapon assault such as gunfire, explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades. After-market modifications generally add significant weight to a vehicle and if the weight is not offset by an enhanced engine, suspension, steering and brakes, the vehicle is unsafe and poses a risk to public safety.

To maintain safety on Alberta roads, we’ve changed our legislation to address concerns with armoured vehicles used by gang members,” said Luke Ouellette, Minister of Transportation. “This is yet another action that supports our commitment to building safe communities in Alberta.”

The amendment to the Vehicle Equipment Regulation under the Traffic Safety Act allows peace officers to require an armoured vehicle to undergo a safety inspection. If the vehicle does not pass the inspection, the vehicle can be removed from the road and the driver(s) can be charged. Charges require a mandatory court appearance and the individual could face a penalty of up to $2,000 and six months in jail.

“This is a significant step in government’s overall approach to gang suppression and safe communities,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Alison Redford. “By giving police the ability to get these vehicles -- which are essentially illegal and are weapons in and of themselves -- off the road, we are delivering a major blow to gang activity in Alberta.”

“We are very appreciative of the provincial government for this amendment,” said Calgary Police Service Chief Rick Hanson, who joined Minister Redford to announce the changes. “This is yet another way of getting out the message that gangs, and the tools of their trade, are not going to be tolerated in Alberta.”

Legitimate uses for compliant armoured vehicles such as military, policing, and transportation of valuable goods are not impacted by this legislation.