Amendments introduced to Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act will toughen penalties for using a hand-held cellphone while driving and street racing.
“Nova Scotians expect their government to take every step possible to decrease risky behaviour on our roads,” said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, in a statement. “By increasing penalties for those who exhibit dangerous behaviour, we are making our roads safer.”
The proposed changes to the cellphone legislation will double fines for those caught using a hand-held cellphone while driving and the loss of four demerit points. The fines, range from about $225 to $570.
Nova Scotia became the second province to ban hand-held cellphone use while driving in 2008. Since that time, more than 8,300 tickets have been issued.
The second amendment to the act will increase penalties for street racing, including a one-year license suspension for a first conviction, three-years for a second offence and a 10-year suspension for a third conviction. Up to six demerit points will also be assigned to a driver’s records.
Actions such as engaging in a race, chasing another vehicle, and driving 50 kilometres per hour, or more, over the posted speed limit are considered street racing or stunt driving.
“Some of the things police are reporting on our highways are like a bad video game come to life,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “It’s important that we underline that such behaviour is unacceptable.”
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