News Release Archive

Transportation and Communications Minister Richie Mann has
introduced a bill to make several amendments to the Motor Vehicle
Act. They will improve the ability to ensure safety in the
trucking industry, provide municipalities with greater autonomy
in management of taxi services and parking, simplify procedures
for providing evidence in motor vehicle related charges, and for
approving minor traffic changes, such as signage, within a
municipality or by department staff. 

Specifically, the changes include:

Provision for the department to create a demerit point system for
commercial vehicles for violations of the Criminal Code (Canada),
Dangerous Goods Transportation Act (Canada), Motor Carrier Act
and other provincial statutes. The carrier company or owner of
the commercial vehicle would be charged under this system. This
improves the ability to administer the National Safety Code. 

Provision for the creation of taxi zones within a municipality,
by the municipality. In the case of amalgamation, the zones will
be the same as the original towns, cities, or municipalities,
until the council of the regional municipality establishes
different zones. Towns, cities and municipalities will have the
authority to regulate and license taxicabs and drivers, and limit
the numbers. Accessible taxis cannot be limited under this

The abstract of a driver's record is prima facie evidence in
court. The courts have ruled that the abstract is not legally
effective evidence of prior offences. This will discourage
drivers with prior offences from taking these traffic cases to
court and therefore, reduce the burden on the court system. 

Provision for the creation of district traffic authorities with
powers delegated by regulation. This will allow municipalities
and qualified district Department of Transportation and
Communications staff to approve traffic control signs, and make
other traffic related decisions without the specific approval of
the Provincial Traffic Authority. The Provincial Traffic
Authority will retain responsibility for setting general policies
and approving regulatory and other signs for use in the province. 

The maximum speed of a school bus will not be limited to 75
kilometres per hour, but is instead the posted speed limit. This
is in response to requests from school boards and safety groups,
such as the Nova Scotia Safety Council, the Nova Scotia School
Boards Association and the Pupil Transportation Advisory
Committee. This amendment will allow school buses travelling on
100 series and other controlled access highways to keep up with
traffic flow, thereby reducing the risk of an accident. 

Golf carts will be permitted to cross provincial highways at
locations marked by the Department of Transportation and


Contact: D. McCready
         Department of Transportation and Communications 

trp                        Nov. 10, 1995