News Release Archive

Changes to regulations of the Motor Carrier Act will make it
easier for volunteers to transport students to extra-curricular
activities, while ensuring protection for students.

Changes in 1996 aimed at expanding the range of vehicles used to
transport students had caused some concern for schools, school
boards and volunteers. After lengthy consultation, the Utility
and Review Board has amended the regulations to respond to these

"The 1996 changes had the benefit of allowing a wider variety of
vehicles to transport students; however, new requirements for
insurance and administration for those vehicles were making it
difficult for schools to recruit volunteer drivers," said Justice
Minister Alan Mitchell.

"We spoke with concerned groups and individuals and we have
reached a consensus that encourages volunteer participation while
keeping safety a priority."

The new amendments to the regulations come after consultation
with the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, school boards,
home and school associations, athletic associations, and the
insurance and automobile industries.

One area of concern had been a requirement for privately owned
vehicles to have $2 million in insurance coverage. The new
regulations recognize that a self-insurance program of the Nova
Scotia School Boards Association will top up insurance on
volunteer vehicles to ensure coverage meets the $2-million

"I am pleased with our level of involvement in the process to
amend the regulations," said Lloyd Gillis, executive director of
the school boards association. "These changes will support
schools, increase student access to extra-curricular activities,
and at the same time, improve management of the risk."

Also at issue was a requirement for schools to collect
documentation of a volunteer's  vehicle registration and
inspection, as well as insurance coverage. The procedure has been
simplified: volunteers will now be required to complete a
standard form verifying their driving qualifications, insurance
coverage and vehicle information.


Contact: Catherine MacIsaac

         Dave White

trp                     May 26, 1997 - 1:10 p.m.