News release

Amendments to Motor Vehicle Act Improve Crosswalk Safety

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will take effect on Sunday, June 1, to clarify driver and pedestrian responsibilities for crosswalk safety.

"There is a shared responsibility between pedestrians and motorists at crosswalks and intersections," said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "We are confident these amendments will provide clearer direction for everyone."

The amendments were passed by the legislature in fall 2007, after an interim report by the Joint Crosswalk Safety Taskforce.

In April, the province accepted recommendations cited in the final report, including an initial investment of $300,000 over three years. The task force made 42 recommendations in education, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.

The amendments include:

  • requiring motorists to stop and yield to pedestrians standing in or facing the curb at crosswalk;
  • requiring pedestrians to ensure flashing amber lights have been activated before they begin to cross the street;
  • making it an offence for pedestrians to begin crossing when the Don't Walk symbol starts to flash; and
  • requiring pedestrians crossing a street at any location other than a crosswalk, to yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
"These amendments are part of our ongoing efforts to improve the safety of all road users in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Scott.

Motorists and pedestrians who fail to abide by the Motor Vehicle Act are subject to penalties such as demerit points, licence suspensions and fines ranging from $500 for a first offence to $2,000 for a third offence.

The crosswalk safety amendments are part of the province's legislative enforcement and awareness initiatives to improve road safety, including a ban on hand-held cellphones, doubling fines for speeding in school and construction zones, legislation to combat street racing and an integrated impaired driving enforcement unit. The legislation also supports government's priority to keep communities safe.

Information on the amendments and crosswalk safety can be found on the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal's website at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will take effect on Sunday (June 1st) to clarify driver and pedestrian responsibilities when it comes to crosswalk safety.

The amendments were passed by the legislature in fall 2007, after an interim report by the Joint Crosswalk Safety Taskforce. In April, the province accepted all 42 recommendations cited in the final report, including an initial investment of 300-thousand dollars over three years.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott says the amendments are part of the government's ongoing efforts to improve the safety of Nova Scotians.

Information on the amendments and crosswalk safety can be found on the department's website at W-W-W dot gov dot N-S dot C-A slash T-R-A-N.

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Media Contact:

Lindsay Mills
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-3289 E-mail: