News Release Archive

  Justice Minister Bill Gillis, today brought forward changes
  to the regulations governing vehicles for the transportation
  of students. The changes, under the Motor Carrier Act
  regulations, broaden the types of vehicles that may be used
  to transport students under an arrangement with a school
  board, while ensuring that a high level of student safety is
  maintained. The proposed changes remove some current
  restrictions, thereby allowing parents and others to better
  support school activities.
  Previously, passenger cars with a seating capacity of more
  than five, vans, maxivans used to transport physically
  disabled persons, and sport utility vehicles were not
  permitted to transport students, under an arrangement with a
  school board.
  Before the changes were brought forward, a broad
  consultation process took place. The proposed changes were
  circulated to a wide range of groups such as school boards,
  home and school associations, athletic associations, the
  insurance industry and automobile industry. Advertisements
  were also placed in provincial newspapers defining the
  proposed changes and seeking public comment. Of the input
  received, 85 per cent expressed support for the proposed
  The changes will allow a number of vehicles other than
  convertibles to be used under an arrangement with a school
  board. This includes passenger cars with a designated
  seating capacity of ten or less. They must be designated as
  passenger cars under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety
  Multi-purpose passenger vehicles, with a designed seating
  capacity of ten or less, 1994 model year or newer may also
  be used. This includes sport utility vehicles and minivans.
  As well, special transit vehicles that have been designed
  and manufactured or converted to transport persons with
  physical disabilities, with a design seating capacity of 11
  to 14 passengers may be used. In addition, any other vehicle
  owned and operated by the parent of a student can be used as
  long as the transportation is restricted to that student.
  Operational controls will apply that affect the
  responsibilities of the vehicle owners and operators at two
  levels, including those owned, leased, controlled and 
  operated by the school board staff or volunteers, and those
  owned, leased, controlled and operated by a parent, teacher
  or volunteer. These controls will include such things as 
  the maintenance of adequate insurance, inspection
  requirements, confirmation that seat-belts are operational
  and are worn, that the driver is 19 years old or over, and
  is not a newly licensed driver. Similar operational controls
  will apply to drivers of these vehicles.
  "We feel these changes are timely, and will allow greater
  flexibility for parents and volunteers in supporting school
  activities," said Dr. Gillis. "We have had a great deal of
  input from several government departments, parents, school
  boards, and industry representatives. They told us the
  changes are logical, make good economic sense, and most
  importantly, maintain the safety of students."
  The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in consultation
  with the Department of Education and Culture will complete a
  broad-based mailing to affected groups advising them of the
  Contact: Michele McKinnon  902-424-6811
           Dave White        902-424-3588
  trp                  Feb. 14, 1996 - 1:15 p.m.