Service NL
May 10, 2016

Supporting Safe and Sustainable Communities

Legislative Amendments Enhance Enforcement Measures

Legislative amendments to the Highway Traffic Act will undergo second reading in the House of Assembly today to enhance the enforcement of laws to prevent the illegal passing of school buses, as well as speeding infractions in school or construction zones. Fines for passing a school bus stopped with its red lights flashing are also being increased.

"Our government is committed to promoting road safety throughout the province. These amendments will strengthen enforcement of speed limits in school and construction zones, and better protect children getting on and off school buses at home and at school. Road safety is everyone's responsibility, and I believe these amendments will contribute greatly to ensuring everyone respects that responsibility."
- The Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Service NL

Specifically, the amendments allow a charge to be brought against the registered owner of a vehicle identified as breaking these laws, even if the driver cannot be clearly identified. This practice is consistent with other jurisdictions across Canada and is aimed at preventing injuries and deaths associated with these dangerous offences.

"Promoting road safety is a top priority for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. These legislative amendments will facilitate stronger enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act, and will help protect children and construction workers, who can be especially vulnerable on our province's roads."
- William J. Janes, Chief of Police, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Registered owners will have access to two separate defences, if they can prove that either:

  • The vehicle was driven without the consent of the registered owner; or
  • The individual was the registered owner at the time of the incident, but was not entitled to possession of the vehicle - for example, a car rental company.

"The Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP is dedicated to keeping our roadways safe. These amendments provide strengthened enforcement options and help our officers work with residents to encourage safe driving in communities across the province, particularly around school buses and in school and construction zones."
- Superintendent Stephanie Sachsse, Officer in Charge, Criminal Operations, Newfoundland and Labrador Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Demerit points will not be applied in the event of this type of conviction. Fines for passing a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing will be increased to a minimum of $500 with a $1,200 maximum. Previous fines were in the $100 to $400 range.

These amendments will be effective 60 days after the bill receives Royal Assent.

The Provincial Government is committed to providing legislation that promotes the safety and well-being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.


  • Legislation will undergo second reading in the House of Assembly today to allow law enforcement officials to bring a charge against the registered owner of a vehicle that is observed illegally passing a school bus or speeding in a school zone or construction zone.
  • Fines for illegally passing a school bus will increase to a range of $500-$1,200; fines for speeding in a school zone or a construction zone range from $100-$1,500 (i.e. double regular speeding fines).
  • Newfoundland and Labrador joins British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island in making legislative amendments for charging the registered owner of a vehicle with a moving offence.

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Media contact:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Service NL
709-729-4860, 699-0470

2016 05 10                              10:15 a.m.