Changes to Nova Scotia’s Graduated Driver’s Licence program will help reduce crashes and injury risk for new drivers.
Starting April 1, the learner or beginner phase of the program will increase to 12 months.
“Currently, we have the shortest learner phase in Canada,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Geoff MacLellan. “Extending the beginner phase will allow the learner to gain experience and exposure to a greater variety of driving situations and conditions.
“They will also gain driving experience through all seasons. The goal is to keep new drivers and those who share the road with them safer in the long run.”
Under the current program, the learner’s licence phase is six months, three months if an approved driver training program is completed. Those who receive their learner’s licence before April 1 will continue to fall under the current program.
Under the new program, the minimum time requirement will be 12 months, nine months if an approved driver training program is completed. Those who receive their learner’s licence from April 1 forward fall under the revised program.
“Most collisions on the road are predictable and preventable,” said John Collyer, vice-president of the Nova Scotia Police Chiefs Association and a member of the Road Safety Advisory Committee. “Strengthening the Graduated Driver’s Licence program may reduce the number of serious and fatal crashes.”
In 1994, the province implemented the program. This means that any new driver, regardless of age, who applies for a learner’s licence will operate under the graduated system. The program gradually moves new drivers from low-risk situations to higher-risk ones after gaining driving experience. This includes night curfews, zero blood alcohol, passenger restrictions and a driving course.
For more information go to http://novascotia.ca/sns/rmv/licence/gradlic.asp