News release

Province Issues New Driver's Handbook

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Province Issues New Driver's Handbook


If you have a driver's licence - or if you're thinking of applying for one - take a quick quiz to see how well you understand the rules of the road. The test is online at www.servicens.ca/rmv/quiz/ and is available at Access Nova Scotia or Registry of Motor Vehicle counters.

The quiz is part of the launch of an updated Driver's Handbook, which was released recently by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

"The Driver's Handbook explains how someone gets a driver's licence or registers a vehicle, and helps them to be a better driver," said Andrew Goodwin, manager of operations support at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "The test is anonymous and we're not tracking results. No one is going to lose their licence if they fail the quiz. It's just a fun way of drawing attention to the updated version."

The revised Driver's Handbook reflects changes to the Motor Vehicle Act and safety programs introduced since the book was last revised in 2000.

These changes, which came into effect between 2001 and 2003, are helping to make Nova Scotia's drivers and driving habits safer:

  • graduated speeding fines, the more dangerous the driver is, the larger the fine;
  • new penalties for passing a school bus when its red lights are flashing or for ignoring crossing guards, making it safer for children travelling to school; and
  • tougher licence reinstatement rules for people who are convicted of drunk driving, helping to keep unsafe drivers from behind the wheel.

Nova Scotia has an enviable driver and vehicle safety record. While there were 10,000 more vehicles registered in the province in December 2002 than in December 1998, reportable collisions were reduced by eight per cent between 1999 and 2002. Fatalities declined by 16 per cent in the same four-year period. Earlier this year, Nova Scotia received a national award for safety improvements in commercial trucking.

Some of the updates to the handbook involve non-motorized vehicles. A bicycle safety brochure published by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations earlier this year is now part of the handbook.

"Including the brochure in the Driver's Handbook will ensure that more people are aware of their rights and their responsibility to share the road, hopefully making the roads safer for cyclists," said the department's director of driver and vehicle safety, Paul Arsenault.

A Driver's Handbook costs $7.49, including taxes, and is available from:

  • Access Nova Scotia
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) service counters
  • www.servicens.ca/publications/
  • by calling the RMV Call Centre at 1-800-898-7668
  • by mail order at, Service Delivery and Operations Division, Registry of Motor Vehicles, PO Box 1652, Halifax, NS, B3J 2Z3.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Service Nova Scotia has just updated its driver's handbook, which helps people become better drivers, and the province is using a quiz to promote the new book.

You can take the quiz online or at any Registry of Motor Vehicles counter.

It's all in fun, no one will lose their licence if they fail, say officials.

The updated book is on sale at Access Nova Scotia or Registry of Motor Vehicle counters across the province, through the government Web site and from some driving schools. Including taxes, it costs seven-dollars-and-forty-nine cents.

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Contact:

Kevin Finch
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-2733 E-mail:

driver and vehicle safety records.

Reportable Registered Year Collisions* Fatalities* Vehicles** Dec. 2002 13,824 75 370,204 Dec. 2001 14,407 71 369,260 Dec. 2000 14,899 78 368,206 Dec. 1999 15,129 90 374,790 Dec. 1998 N/A N/A 360,333

  • Department of Transportation and Public Works
  • * Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (RMV)
kjd            September 24, 2003       3:13 P.M.