Traffic Safety Act (Formerly Motor Vehicle Act)

Motor Vehicle Act to Traffic Safety Act: Background Information

Along with our partners the Halifax Cycling Coalition, the Ecology Action Centre, the Atlantic Active Alliance, and Walk N’ Roll Halifax , Bicycle Nova Scotia has been pushing the Provincial Government to reform the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) a. Our objectives are as follows:

Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act was last re-written in the 1920’s, and there were many changes to various sections since then. This resulted in a confusing piece of legislation that did not provide protection for vulnerable road users (ie: non-motorized road users, such as people walking, cycling, and rolling). In 2018 the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal began work on updating the MVA, now called the Traffic Safety Act (TSA). The new Traffic Safety Act has been fully re-written. The Act itself is a framework piece of legislation. The details will be found in the regulations connected to the TSA. The regulations are easier to change than the Act itself, making the laws more adaptable to new technologies and the changing needs of road users. Adaptability is important because the way that people travel is adapting all the time.

We have been actively working on reforming the Motor Vehicle Act since 2016. You can see more information on the history of this process here.

Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Response

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal recognized the need for the MVA to be revamped. In the spring of 2018 they launched a public engagement process to collect feedback on how Nova Scotians would like to see the Act improved. The new Act will be called the Traffic Safety Act. To learn more about the province’s process, visit their website here.

In January 2017, our groups established an Active Transportation Subcommittee of the Road Safety Advisory Committee (we know, it’s a mouthful!) to work on the TSA. We began working through the formal process of drafting the new TSA with the province, Halifax Regional Municipality, police, and other stakeholders. The Act itself is a framework piece of legislation, which was introduced as Bill 80 in 2018. The details about how people can use public streets will be found in the regulations connected to the TSA. The province began seeking public input on the regulations in 2020. Our stakeholder groups have re-engaged the public to inform our feedback on the regulations and encourage others to submit their own feedback.

2020 Public Engagement

In December 2020 Bicycle Nova Scotia, along with our partners Halifax Cycling Coalition, , the Ecology Action Centre, the Atlantic Active Alliance, and Walk N’ Roll Halifax hosted two public engagement sessions to gather feedback about the TSA regulations that pertain to rules of the road. Several of our recommendations have been addressed in the new TSA regulations, several have not, and there are some things we still have questions about. You can read the draft Rules of the Road Regulations here. Please see below for an overview of what’s been included, what hasn’t, and what we are asking the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for more information about.

Included
Not Included
Questions and Concerns

We are working to summarize participant feedback from the public engagement sessions we held in December 2020. With our partners, we will then develop written feedback for the Nova Scotia Department of Infrastructure Renewal about the Rules of the Road Regulations. We encourage you to submit your own feedback to the province about the TSA Rules of the Road. Please cc us (info@bicycle.ns.ca) on your e-mails so we can keep track of feedback being submitted. You can also cc your local MLA to let them know your concerns. You can look up your MLA and their contact information here.

The deadline to submit feedback in Friday, January 8th, 2021.

Public support helps these amendments become enacted. Please take a moment to submit your feedback.

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