Nova Scotian Rules of the Road are Being Updated

The Halifax Cycling Coalition has been pushing the Provincial Government to reform the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) along with our partners Bicycle Nova Scotia, the Ecology Action Centre, the Atlantic Active Alliance, and Walk N’ Roll Halifax since 2016. Our objectives are as follows:

  • Increase road safety for all, while eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries
  • Promote and prioritize walking and wheeling
  • Remove barriers to walking and wheeling, including legal penalties
  • Increase the responsibility of drivers based on the potential damage and loss of life they could cause
  • Expand tools available to create safe, continuous and connected active transportation networks

In 2018 the Province of Nova Scotia introduced the new Traffic Safety Act as Bill 80, replacing the outdated Motor Vehicle Act. Most of the details for how Nova Scotians must use the roads are in separate regulations. The regulations are easier to amend over time than the Act itself. In December 2020 the Province of Nova Scotia released the Rules of the Road Regulations, which contain much of the detail related to riding bikes. They are currently seeking public input on the Rules of the Road Regulations and this is the perfect opportunity for you to have your say in how our streets are regulated!

At the Halifax Cycling Coalition, we have developed our own set of recommendations to the Province of Nova Scotia. Our feedback is informed by the professional expertise of our staff and board members, who are skilled in active transportation planning, policy analysis, law, and research; two public engagement sessions that we co-hosted with Bicycle Nova Scotia, the Ecology Action Centre, the Atlantic Active Alliance, and Walk N’ Roll Halifax with 167 people in attendance; and an online survey that was sent to participants of the engagement sessions.

We encourage you to submit your own feedback to the Province to let them know what you think of the regulations. You can send your feedback via e-mail to tsa@novascotia.ca. Cc us at contact@cyclehalifax.ca to let us know, and cc your MLA. You can find your MLA’s contact information here. We suggest using our recommendations as a starting point to develop your own feedback. You can also simply let the province know that you endorse our recommendations and include them as an attachment. Learn more about the history of the Traffic Safety Act on our website here. The deadline to submit your feedback has been extended to Friday, January 22, 2021.