N.S. transportation minister proposes stiffer fines in Motor Vehicle Act
Published Wednesday, November 25, 2015 7:45PM AST
Proposed changes to Nova Scotia's Motor Vehicle Act will stiffen the fines for drivers and pedestrians involved in a car-pedestrian collision - and set a blood alcohol limit for supervising drivers.
Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan introduced the amendments on Wednesday.
“If a supervising driver is found to have a BAC at or higher than .05, they will immediately lose their license for a period of seven days and be required to pay a reinstatement fee,” said MacLellan.
Until now, supervising drivers could have someone with a graduated license act as their designated driver.
But MADD Canada says supervising drivers need to be sober.
“It certainly ensures that that person is in control of being responsible, being able to take over care and control of the vehicle,” said Susan MacAskill, chapter services manager for the Atlantic region of MADD.
The changes will also standardize fines for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians involved in pedestrian collisions.
“This is in fact a responsibility for all of us, for cyclists for motor vehicles and of course for pedestrians,” said MacLellan.
As of now, fines for pedestrian collisions begin at $180, depending on where and how the collision happens.
The changes will make the starting fine $697.50.
The number of car-pedestrian collisions in the Halifax area has been a growing concern for more than a year. During a three day period between Saturday and Monday, at least five pedestrians were hit by a vehicle in the city.
“There's some shared jurisdiction with respect to the province and the municipality and we want to play a role,” said MacLellan.
Crosswalk safety advocate Norm Collins says the amendments are a good start.
“An injury, a life, is the same regardless of what the location is so it certainly never made any sense to me that there was this inconsistency,” said Collins.
The proposed changes would take effect in April.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.