Public Input Wanted for Use of Road Regulations for New Traffic Safety Act

Traffic & Weather


Public Input Wanted for Use of Road Regulations for New Traffic Safety Act
Government continues to seek input on the Traffic Safety Act’s draft regulations.

Nova Scotians can now provide feedback on proposed regulations that will govern how motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and those operating other types of transportation use the road. This is the third group of draft regulations being shared for public comment.

The proposed Use of the Road regulations are now available online.

Highlights of this phase of regulations include:
— clarifying the use of hand-held devices while driving
— increasing the parking distances from the curb to car
— a variety of safety measures to better protect cyclists, including prohibiting the opening of car door in traffic without due care
— updating hand signals for bicyclists, including an alternate right turn signal
— updating the requirements for seatbelt use for emergency responders and taxi drivers
— modernized language pertaining to commercial vehicles, including their safety fitness, securing of loads and carriage of freight
— establishing red flashing lights for tow trucks
— establishing which types of transportation may be operated on the roads and the rules they must follow, including bicycles, bicycle trailers, power-assisted bicycles and personal transporters

Draft regulation addressing the use of e-scooters remains under development and will be included in a subsequent public input phase.

The draft regulations are being released in phases. The phases include regulations for drivers, vehicles, rules for using the road, penalties and other administrative changes.

It is the first time Nova Scotia has made draft regulations of this magnitude available for public comment prior to proclamation.

The new Traffic Safety Act is replacing the outdated Motor Vehicle Act. The new act will govern and regulate the registration and identification of motor vehicles and the use of provincial highways and roads. This includes driver’s licences, the registration and inspection of vehicles, traffic laws and equipment standards.

The act and regulations will take effect following the public review phase and once upgrades to the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer system are completed.

Nova Scotians can get more information and provide feedback by going to:

The deadline for feedback on the Use of Road regulations is Jan. 8

Quick Facts:
— the Traffic Safety Act was passed unanimously in the fall of 2018 and will replace the Motor Vehicle Act, which was written in the early 1920s
— the act is designed as a framework, setting broad policy and regulatory authority to quickly address changing technologies and future road-safety needs
— since the last major revision in 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act has been amended more than 62 times
— the legislation, once in effect, will be more concise than the current MVA, moving technical detail to regulation and allowing more flexibility and responsiveness to emerging issues
— the Traffic Safety Act reflects significant stakeholder engagement with 31 groups and 23 partners including Bicycle Nova Scotia, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Road Safety Advisory Committee, Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police and Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities
— in September, the first phase of draft regulations, the drivers regulations, were released for public feedback. It was followed by draft vehicle regulations in October

Additional Resources:
Bill 80 – The Traffic Safety Act:

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