Quebec & Nova Scotia Drivers: BEWARE

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed
quebec nova scotia drivers beware

On April 1st, 2008 significant modifications to road safety regulations in the Canadian provinces of Québec and Nova Scotia went into effect. reports that handheld cellular phones are now verboten while at the wheel, though hands free devices are still tolerated. Nova Scotia will begin ticketing the offense immediately, while Québec has allowed for a three-month grace periods in which offenders will only receive stern warnings and moralizing sermons. The first offense in Nova Scotia will cost $165, while costing $80-$110 and three demerit points in Québec. Still not satisfied, road safety advocate Jean-Marie de Koeninck argues that "[h]ands-free is just as dangerous. (But) by forbidding the hand-held it does send a signal that there is a problem with the cellphone, there's a problem with concentration". Meanwhile, the same traffic safety bill in Québec also doubled all speeding fines , with new suspension of license provisions for those caught traveling at 40 km/h over the limit in under-60 zones, 50 km/h in 60-90 over zones, and 60 km/h over in 100+ zones. All in the name of safety, presumably.

Join the conversation
4 of 19 comments
  • Samirgroupie Samirgroupie on Apr 03, 2008

    More of the Nanny State! Maybe if Quebec didn't concentrate its resources on Language Police, they wouldn't need the additional income that will doubtless be forthcoming from this ban. I hate it when people use a cell phone when they drive, but I hate it more when government imposes heavy fines on its citizens in an attempt to baby them.

  • Menno Menno on Apr 03, 2008

    Ban cell phone use in cars, as far as I'm concerned. I cannot tell you how many times a week I see people driving very, very poorly - and inevitably, they are blabbing on their ********* cell phones. I've had SUVs nearly cream me so many times by their inattentiveness, that I automatically am now wary of any SUVs and watch doubly to see if they are - weaving - going slower, then faster, then slower - making sudden stops due to catching up to traffic Virtually all of the time, when I see these actions and others, sure enough, there they are on their ********* cell phones. Driving with a cell phone plastered to the ear IS is bad as driving drunk, no ifs ands or buts. As for speeding - well, don't you Canadians have a vote? So, vote these imbeciles out. If you don't like overly low speed limits, then write to politicians and TELL them to take these laws and stuff them. TELL them to make the speed limits more realistic. BUT if you do manage to make the speed limits more realistic, you'd better be prepared for the flip-side. I think that if speed limits are reasonable and proper, then we'd better actually obey them. After all, a driver's license isn't "license" to do as we please; it should rather be called a "driver's permit" - when we take it, it is under conditions set by the public as a whole through our representative governments. The condition is that we have the privilege to drive so long as we obey the rules! Wow, I know.... what a novel Idea. "OBEY". and "RULES".

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Apr 03, 2008

    twice in this last week I've witnessed "almost" accidents - both times it was a cell phone user both times the user was also female so that might have been it as well . . . . . (-hides-)

  • JuniperBug JuniperBug on Apr 03, 2008

    I have no problem with REASONABLE speed limits being more strictly enforced. As has already been said, the issue is that the current speed limits aren't reasonable and therefore no one follows them, nor are we expected to. Police generally don't run radar on the highways through Montreal, even though everyone goes over the limit. Doing the posted 70 km/h (that's 45 MPH on 2-3 lane, separated highways) is not only uselessly slow, it's downright dangerous with other traffic going at least 30 km/h faster. Under the new rules, police can just occasionally go out and pick off whoever they like and hose them with a huge fine - like shooting fish in a barrel - just for going with the flow of traffic. It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with making a greedy (and lazy) cash grab. Speaking of which, ask the owner of any sport motorcycle (even if it's from 1985, worth $1000 and vastly slower than modern "sport-touring" bikes) how much they're now paying to register their bike. It's in the neighbourhood of $600/year (up from $320 last year, and there have been talks of making it an even $1k in the future). The Quebec government are a bunch of crooks. As for the doubling of demerit points, I'll admit that it took a fair bit of hoonery to get the required 15 points to lose your license under the old system. It would have taken going 120 km/h over the speed limit in order for that to happen in one shot. However, any driver who has more than 3 points (even under the old scheme, that amounted to anything more than rolling one stop sign every 2 years) is faced with an "insurance" surcharge. It's important to note that this surcharge is collected by the government, not by the insurance companies. Still think it's about safety? If the goal were safety, the motorcycle solution would be tiered licensing and better rider education. Where they could have made it law that Billy 16 year-old isn't allowed to ride a 180hp Hayabusa as a first bike (a lethal combination by any metric), they instead decided that he can (and pay 14% sales tax on it), but he and everyone else who rides a sporty bike - as defined by a list the government came up with/pulled out of its ass, which includes 80 hp bikes from the 80's yet somehow overlooks vastly more performance-oriented 130+hp bikes from only a few years ago - have to pay insane amounts of money to register them because Billy will supposedly cost the government a lot of money in the form of healthcare when he wads his bike up. If the goal were safety, they'd set reasonable speed limits and enforce those vigorously, instead of setting artificially low ones and enforcing them only occasionally but demanding enormous fines when they do pull someone over.