News Release Archive

The Registry of Motor Vehicles is expanding recognition of driver
improvement programs under graduated drivers licensing (GDL)
beyond the Nova Scotia Safety Council's defensive driving course.

"We recognize that several driving schools throughout the
province provide the skills and attitude training necessary to
create safe and responsible drivers," said Business and Consumer
Services Minister Sandy Jolly. "We want to give young drivers and
their parents a choice in where to obtain training."

In the past, all drivers under GDL were required to take the
defensive driving course, even if they had already successfully
completed a program offered by a private driver training school
or the high school driver education program. Now the Registry of
Motor Vehicles has approved the training courses offered by
several other driving schools as meeting the criteria for new
drivers to graduate out of the program. To be approved, courses
must include a minimum of 25 hours of classroom instruction and
eight hours of in-car instruction. A list of approved courses can
be obtained by calling toll-free 1-800-898-7668.

Therefore, all new drivers who have completed their two years in
the graduated drivers licensing program and have completed the
required driver training program should present their course
certificate at any RMV office to have their licence upgraded from
"new" status.

"The purpose of a driver improvement program is to take driver
training beyond skills training," said Ms. Jolly. "It would focus
on developing the proper attitude to continue a driving career."

The criteria for approved courses stipulates that the following
topics must be covered through videos and classroom discussion:
continuous development of driving skills through experience,
responsibilities of driving beyond GDL, proper safe driving
skills and attitude, accident avoidance, sharing the road with
all users, alcohol-and drug-free driving, emotions and driving,
and driving with passengers. The programs will be audited on a
regular basis to ensure they continue to meet the criteria.

"The bottom line is that it's more efficient -- it's one-stop
shopping," said Eric Bolland of Precision Driving Schools,
Kentville. "Thanks to this decision by the Registry of Motor
Vehicles, students will be able to complete an eligible driver
training program and know that they've met all the training
requirements for graduating out of the graduated drivers
licensing program. Since they'll no longer need to take a second
course, it's cost-efficient for new drivers, province-wide."


Contact: Louise MacDonald  902-424-0394

trp                      Feb. 7, 1997 - 11:38 a.m.