Management of the road network in Québec is mainly the responsibility of the Ministère and the municipalities. The Ministère manages heavy vehicle traffic on its own road network, called the highway system. The municipalities are responsible for the management of heavy vehicle traffic on the public roads they are responsible for maintaining.
Trucking is an activity that can be local, regional, provincial and international at the same time. This is a sector largely dependent on economic development. For the Ministère, the coherence between its interventions and those of the municipalities in management of truck traffic is a strategic issue. The same is true for the road transportation industry. Also, the Ministère has developed a trucking network that can account for the industry's needs and ensure the uniformity of traffic rules for heavy vehicles throughout Québec.
Concretely, this network's objective is to maintain a reasonable balance between the needs associated with economic development and the imperatives of protection of the road network, mobility and safety of all road users. The trucking network therefore seeks to direct heavy vehicles to the most appropriate road network.
To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the Minister of Transport has the power to prohibit or limit traffic of heavy vehicles on the highway system and the public roads under its responsibility. This power is conferred by the
Highway Safety Code.
The municipalities can do the same on their network by adopting a by-law subject to the Minister's approval. They intervene under the Highway Safety Code.
In both cases, the Ministère or the municipalities must use the traffic signs or signals provided for in the
Regulation respecting road signs (RRRS).
The Highway Safety Code establishes the rules relating to road safety. Section 291 allows the Minister of Transport to restrict or prohibit traffic of heavy vehicles on the public roads under his responsibility.
Under paragraph (5) of section 626 of the Code, a municipality may prohibit all vehicular traffic on the public roads it is responsible for maintaining. It can do so with or without exception, by by-law or by order, if the law allows it to provide for one.
The signs and signals used to indicate a restriction or a prohibition must be uniform on the entire road network. It must be well understood by the drivers of the vehicles concerned. Indeed, the effectiveness of traffic management depends on understanding and obeying the signs.
For reasons of standardization, the Regulation respecting road signs, adopted under the Highway Safety Code, applies to all public roads, including those maintained by the municipalities. This Regulation provides for the types of signs the Ministère or a municipality must use to inform the drivers of vehicles covered by them.
New documents are now available:
The Guide to “No Truck” Roads (2016) and
Quick Reference Sheet on Road Signs for Heavy Vehicles (2016) . A new version of the trucking network map is also available. The objectives of the new documents are to popularize and simplify the requirements of the Ministère's regulations regarding road transportation of goods.
© Gouvernement du Québec, 2020