Option 4 Program

What is the Option 4 Program?

For drivers ticketed for incorrect restraint of a passenger under 16 years of age, the Option 4 Program is an education session on proper use of child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts for children. When a driver is stopped by RCMP or local law enforcement at a safety check, any children riding in the vehicle are inspected to make sure they are correctly buckled up in a child safety seat, a booster seat or a seat belt, depending on their size. A ticket may be issued to the driver if any misuse or non-use of the child restraint is identified.

A driver who receives a traffic ticket usually has three options:

  • Pay the ticket.
  • Plead not guilty by mail.
  • Plead not guilty in court.

Instead, Option 4 allows the driver to attend an education session on proper use of child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts for children. After completion of this session, the ticket is recommended for withdrawal and the driver does not pay the fine. The Option 4 Program exists in many areas in Alberta. In areas where the Program is not available, the driver must deal with the ticket in another way.

Where implemented, the Option 4 Program has had a positive impact on the use of child restraints, and has resulted in successful partnerships between health and enforcement to address this traffic safety issue.

If you have received a ticket for incorrect restraint of a passenger under 16 years of age:

  1. Check the Upcoming Option 4 Sessions section below for a session in your area. Attend a session at least two weeks prior to the court date on your ticket.
  2. Pre-register for the session. For the ticket to be withdrawn, the ticketed driver must attend the session. Check to see if the session in your area is open to friends and family who want to learn about child restraints.
  3. 3. Bring both your ticket and your driver’s licence to the class. Arrive on time and attend the entire class in order for your ticket to be withdrawn.

Setting Up and Maintaining an Option 4 Program

The Alberta Traffic Safety Plan designates March and October for occupant restraint activities, including seat belt, child safety seat and booster seat enforcement and education. This section provides information and resources for health, enforcement and other community partners interested in child passenger safety to run an Option 4 Program.

March 2011 Option 4 Update (pdf)

Option 4 Session Materials

Enforcement Materials

Child Restraint Information for Enforcement Members
Alberta Occupant Restraint Laws Reference Card (pdf)
Roadside Safety Check Guidelines (pdf)
Sample Recommendation for Withdrawal (pdf)

Recommendation for Withdrawal Forms

Recommendation for Withdrawal Forms are required for an Option 4 Program. These forms are available from the AORP Program Coordinator by email at info@albertaseatbelts.ca. The forms are supplied in packages of 50 and sent by mail.

Sample Recommendation for Withdrawal (pdf)

Register Your Area’s Session

Register your area’s Option 4 Program sessions on this site. Email the dates and locations of upcoming sessions to info@albertaseatbelts.ca at least two weeks prior to your safety check.

Upcoming Education Sessions

  • Edmonton – Information about Option 4 classes in the Edmonton area is available by calling 780-735-3004. Pre-registration is required and detailed information about dates, times and locations is available at that number between 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Calgary (pdf)
  • Wood Buffalo (pdf)