The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Bill No. 133

Motor Vehicle Act (amended) *

An Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act *

Introduced by:
Honourable Geoff MacLellan
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

First Reading
Second Reading Debates
Second Reading Passed
Law Amendments Committee
    Meeting Date(s) November 30, 2015; December 2, 2015
    Reported to the House
Committee of the Whole House
Third Reading Debates
Third Reading
Royal Assent
Commencement Upon proclamation; except s.8: April 26, 2016
2015 Statutes, Chapter 45

Explanatory Note

Clause 1
(a) updates the name of the Department and the title of the Minister;
(b) adds definitions of “nurse practitioner”, “occupational therapist”, “optometrist”, “qualified medical practitioner” and “registered psychologist”;
(c) simplifies the definition of “novice driver”; and
(d) amends the definition of “proof of financial responsibility” to remove words that relate to the option, being repealed by this Act, for a person to provide proof of financial responsibility by giving a bond or depositing money or securities.

Clause 2
(a) allows the Department to recognize the personal representative of a deceased registered owner of a vehicle who dies intestate or dies with a will that does not require being probated;
(b) allows a personal representative so recognized to apply for and obtain registration of the vehicle;
(c) provides that such a registration does not affect the title or interest of any person in the vehicle or the protection provided by the Insurance Act upon the death of the registered owner; and
(d) immunizes the Registrar, Departmental employees and the Government from liability for exercising any of the powers or carrying out any of the duties imposed on them under Section 23 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Clause 3 allows the Department to refuse to issue a driver’s licence to a person if the Registrar determines that the person has provided misleading information to the Department in the person’s application for a driver’s licence.

Clause 4 requires a person who is a supervising driver to be prepared and able to take control of a vehicle being driven by a newly licensed driver or licensed learner whom the person is supervising.

Clause 5 removes spent transitional provisions relating to newly licensed drivers.

Clause 6 clarifies who holds the status of a novice driver.

Clause 7 provides that any person directed to do so by the Registrar may administer vision tests and written examinations to applicants for a driver’s licence.

Clause 8
(a) clarifies who has access to accident reports;
(b) allows a public officer responsible for risk management for the Government of Nova Scotia to obtain a copy of an accident report in the same manner as an insurance company;
(c) allows persons and insurance companies who are or may be liable for damages following a motor vehicle accident to obtain a copy of the accident report;
(d) requires the Registrar to remove any personal information the Registrar considers appropriate to remove before furnishing a report to a person or insurance company; and
(e) allows the Registrar to provide data derived from accident reports to persons conducting traffic safety or motor vehicle safety research.

Clause 9 repeals a provision that refers to a repealed provision.

Clause 10 removes a reference to a repealed provision.

Clause 11
(a) removes a reference to a repealed provision; and
(b) removes the option for a person to provide proof of financial responsibility by giving a bond or depositing money or securities.

Clause 12 clarifies that a provision relating to the use of securities refers to bonds, money and securities wherever the Act provides for their use and not just in Section 236.

Clause 13 makes it a requirement that insurers notify the Registrar of the cancellation or expiry of motor vehicle liability policies at the request of the Registrar and removes the requirement that such policies remain in force until the notification is provided.

Clause 14 provides that when an impoundment facility is ordered to impound a motor vehicle, the towing and storage costs incurred by the impoundment facility are a lien on the impounded vehicle.

Clause 15 authorizes contact information for the registered owner of an impounded vehicle to be disclosed to the owner of the impoundment facility in which the vehicle is impounded if the facility is authorized to sell the impounded vehicle.

Clause 16
(a) authorizes optometrists, nurse practitioners and occupational therapists to report to the Registrar whether it is unsafe for a patient to drive for medical reasons;
(b) provides that no action may be brought against an optometrist, nurse practitioner or occupational therapist for making a report; and
(c) repeals an interpretive provision that is made redundant by the addition of several definitions to Section 2 of the Act.

Clause 17
(a) allows a peace officer to demand a breath sample from the supervising driver of a newly licensed driver or licensed learner if the peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the supervising driver has consumed alcohol and, as a result, is not prepared and able to take over control of a vehicle being driven by the newly licensed driver or licensed learner;
(b) requires a supervising driver to surrender the supervising driver’s licence if the supervising driver refuses to provide a breath sample;
(c) requires a supervising driver to surrender the supervising driver’s licence if the supervising driver has a blood-alcohol content in excess of 0.05 mg/ml; and
(d) makes a supervising driver subject to the same administrative penalties for acting as a supervising driver while having a blood-alcohol content in excess of 0.05 mg/ml, or for failing to provide a breath sample, as a driver of a motor vehicle would be subject to if the driver were found to have a blood-alcohol content in excess of 0.05 mg/ml and not exceeding 0.08 mg/ml.

Clause 18 allows the Registrar to suspend or cancel the registration of a vehicle or suspend or revoke any permit if the Registrar determines that false information was provided to the Department in the course of obtaining the registration or permit.

Clause 19 allows the Registrar to suspend or revoke a person’s driver’s licence if the Registrar determines that misleading information was provided to the Department in the course of obtaining the driver’s licence.

Clause 20 corrects an error in the POINT SYSTEM TABLE.

Clauses 21 and 22
(a) remove from the list of category F offences an offence (failure to stop) that is also listed as being a category G offence;
(b) make the violation of any provision of Section 125 (respecting pedestrian and vehicle rights of way) or 125A (respecting crossing guards) of the Act a category G offence; and
(c) make the violation of Sections 93 (traffic signals) of the Act a category G offence if, in the course of committing the violation, the person fails to yield the right of way or, as a pedestrian, proceeds other than when authorized to do so.

Clause 23 provides that this Act comes into force upon proclamation.