News release

Province Streamlines Approvals for Highway Pilot Projects

There's no shortage of ideas when it comes to the future of personal transportation. Jet packs, hovercraft, or solar-powered pogo sticks -- who knows how Nova Scotians will be getting from here to there 20 years from now?

When the next good idea comes down the pike, Nova Scotia wants to be ready to climb on for the ride.

The province is introducing the Innovative Transportation Act to make Nova Scotia more flexible and responsive when it comes to testing and evaluating modern transportation innovations on highways.

The proposed amendments allow the province to authorize pilot projects (of up to two years in duration) to test new approaches that would otherwise not be permitted under existing highway laws. Pilot projects could be used to evaluate alternate vehicles, lighting regulations, rules of the road, and many other emerging transportation ideas.

"These amendments will make the province more flexible and responsive when new ideas are proposed as part of a rapidly changing world of transportation," said Maurice Smith, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "We're open to trying out new ideas but the safety of our roads will remain the top priority."

The current Motor Vehicle Act does not allow some pilot projects. Legislation has to be changed for each new initiative, which can take several months. The new legislation makes testing highway activities and technologies more efficient while keeping Nova Scotia drivers safe.

"As long as road safety remains the top priority we're happy to support this change," said Shirley Ann Rogers, co-chair of Nova Scotia's Road Safety Advisory Committee. "Reducing time and red tape while still ensuring the safety of Nova Scotia road users is good news for everyone."

Under the act, highways are defined as a public highway, street, lane, road, alley, park, bridge, beach, or place as well as private property that is available to the general public for the operation of a motor vehicle, which could include parking lots.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Jet packs, hovercraft, or solar-powered pogo sticks -- who knows how we'll be getting from here to there 20 years from now?

When the next good personal transportation idea comes down the pike Nova Scotia wants to be ready to climb on for the ride.

The province is introducing the Innovative Transportation Act to make Nova Scotia more flexible and responsive when it comes to testing and evaluating modern transportation innovations on highways.

The proposed amendments allow the province to authorize pilot projects to test new approaches that would otherwise not be permitted under existing highway laws. Projects could be used to evaluate alternate vehicles, lighting regulations, rules of the road, and many other emerging transportation ideas.

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Media Contact:

Pam Menchenton
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-1750 E-mail: