New Traffic Safety Act

Nova Scotia’s outdated Motor Vehicle Act is being replaced with a new, modern Traffic Safety Act that will help make the province’s roads and highways safer.

The new act follows significant stakeholder engagement with 31 groups and 23 partners, and online engagement with Nova Scotians that received 865 comments.

“The Motor Vehicle Act has not been rewritten since the early 1920s and has been amended numerous times. As a result, it is unclear and inconsistent,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. “The new Traffic Safety Act will enable us to quickly address the more technical and day-to-day issues that arise in the administration of road safety.”

Significant initiatives in the new act include:

  • defining vulnerable road users and imposing stiffer fines for drivers who injure vulnerable road users on our highways
  • clarifying the term distracted driving to reflect changes in modern technology
  • managing the advancement of autonomous vehicles
  • enabling municipalities to make bylaws regarding noise, including mufflers

Mr. Hines also introduced two amendments to the existing Motor Vehicle Act to address the issues of drug impaired driving and the use of facial recognition technology as part of driver’s licence and photo identification card issuance.

Both topics will be addressed in the Traffic Safety Act, however, because it will be more than one year before it is proclaimed, amendments have to be made to the existing Motor Vehicle Act.