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Province wants public feedback on new Traffic Safety Act regulations

The drivers regulations address standards, licensing, training and suspension
(stock photo)

Nova Scotians are invited to provide feedback on the province's draft regulations under the new Traffic Safety Act.

The proposed drivers regulations are being made available online for public comment effective today, Sept. 17.

The draft regulations are being released in stages, beginning with drivers regulations, followed in sequence by the regulations for vehicles, rules for using the road and penalties and other administrative changes. Each phase for public input will last 30 days.

It is the first time Nova Scotia has made draft regulations of this magnitude available for public comment prior to proclamation.

"Many months and extensive consultation with targeted stakeholder groups have gone into the development of these draft regulations. Now it is time to hear what Nova Scotians have to say," said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. "The existing act was written in the early 1920s and we need to modernize our laws. We want the new act to be more flexible and responsive."

The new Traffic Safety Act, replacing the Motor Vehicle Act, was passed in 2018. The new act will govern and regulate the registration and identification of motor vehicles and the use of provincial highways and roads. This includes drivers licences, the registration and inspection of vehicles, traffic laws and equipment standards.

The drivers regulations address standards, licensing, training and suspension.

Key improvements to the more than 80 regulations affecting drivers include:
-- updating the licence classification system to reflect the national standard
-- changes to the demerit point system to harmonize with the rest of the country by reducing suspension time and eliminating conditional licenses
-- simplifying the steps for obtaining a graduated drivers licence and learners permits for commercial vehicles
-- clarity and consistency for driver education courses
-- eligibility and medical requirements for different drivers classes
-- application and renewal processes for drivers licences

The act and regulations will take effect following the public review phase and once upgrades to the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer system are completed.

Nova Scotians can get more information and provide feedback by going to:

The deadline for feedback on the drivers regulations is Friday, Oct. 16.

Quick Facts:
-- the Traffic Safety Act was passed unanimously in the fall of 2018 and will replace the Motor Vehicle Act, which was written in the early 1920s
-- the act is designed as a framework, setting broad policy and regulatory authority to quickly address changing technologies and future road-safety needs
-- since the last major revision in 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act has been amended more than 62 times
-- the legislation, once in effect, will be more concise than the current Motor Vehicle Act, moving technical detail to regulation and allowing more flexibility and responsiveness to emerging issues
-- the Traffic Safety Act reflects significant stakeholder engagement with 31 groups and 23 partners including Bicycle Nova Scotia, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Road Safety Advisory Committee, Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police and Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities

Additional Resources:
Bill 80 - The Traffic Safety Act:


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