News Release Archive

Justice Minister Jay Abbass today released an important advisory
to motorists, designed to enhance safety for students. Recent 
changes to the Motor Carrier Act have eliminated the requirement
for school buses to use amber lights when leaving a stop. Now,
amber lights will flash only upon approach to a stop. This
eliminates any confusion for motorists, and ensures flashing
amber lights have one meaning only. The change in procedure has
been endorsed by the Nova Scotia Safety Council and the Nova
Scotia School Boards Association.

Amber lights will continue to flash for 150 metres (500 feet)
upon approach to a bus stop. Therefore, when amber lights are
activated, motorists can be absolutely certain the school bus is
approaching a stop, preparing to stop, and will be picking up or 
discharging passengers. Red lights will continue to flash until
all children who must cross the highway have done so, and all
others have cleared within three feet - or one metre - of the
vehicle. Amber lights will no longer flash when the school bus is
leaving a stop.

"The change is necessary because previously the double meaning
has caused confusion, and compromised safety," said Mr. Abbass.
"Drivers who have been charged with passing a school bus with red
lights activated in the past, have successfully argued the
confusion relating to the double meaning of the amber lights did
not allow them to react in time. We are eliminating that
confusion, and that defence."

The change in procedure also ensures uniformity, as Nova Scotia
was the only jurisdiction in North America that required amber
lights after red.


Contact: Michele McKinnon  902-424-6811

trp                    August 14, 1996 - 1:00 p.m.