Public Safety

Clarification of new driving rules (09/05/20)

NB 699

May 20, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Changes to the Motor Vehicle Act that were proposed on May 28, 2008 that will affect new drivers, and that were announced on April 28, 2009, will come into effect on June 1. The Department of Public Safety today clarified some of the facts about the changes.

The only provision that applies to all drivers younger than 21 is that they will be required to maintain a zero-per-cent blood alcohol content when driving.

The changes that restrict driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. apply to residents who hold a graduated driver's licence (GDL). All first-time licence holders have a GDL for two years.

The GDL has two levels that together last for two years. A Level 1 licence is held for at least one year until the driver takes a road test, unless the resident takes a licensed driver training course. Currently, Level 1 is shortened to four months if a licensed driver training course is taken. Effective Oct. 1, Level 1 will be shortened to eight months following a licensed driver training course. A Level 2 licence is held for a minimum of one year after the driver takes a road test, until a total of two years has elapsed during the GDL period.

With respect to the restrictions on driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., the following rules will apply effective June 1:

These changes were brought about after careful research into best practices in other jurisdictions, and numerous statistical reports from Transport Canada, MADD Canada, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, the European Union, and others. All of these studies clearly showed that the number of young drivers killed in road crashes increased dramatically between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. They also showed a significant increase in danger with each additional passenger.

These changes to the Motor Vehicle Act were passed unanimously by a voice vote in the legislative assembly on June 18, 2008.


MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Lessard, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267.