Transportation and Works
February 29, 2008

Government Enforcing Safety Measures on Provincial Ferries

The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works, announced today that effective Monday, March 3, the Provincial Government will implement a new regulation to ensure passengers leave their vehicles before the ferry is in motion, in an effort to enhance safety on ferries in the provincial fleet.

"The Department of Transportation and Works recently expanded its Marine Services branch, setting up a separate division in Lewisporte and hiring additional staff, including an Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM)," said Minister Whalen. "One of the responsibilities of the new ADM is enhancing overall safety on the ferry fleet and this measure will do just that.

"This week was the warning period before strict implementation of this policy. Signage has been posted on all ferries, reinforcing the policy. On Monday, employees will strictly enforce the policy."

Minister Whalen explained that ensuring passengers leave their vehicles, will make emergency evacuation easier, as all passengers will be situated on the passenger deck, adjacent to the emergency muster station. She noted that accommodation will be made for disabled passengers who cannot leave a vehicle.

If passengers do not comply with this new policy they will be asked to leave their vehicle; they will be informed that the boat will not sail as long as they stay in their car; the ferry will not sail and the RCMP or RNC will be called.

Minister Whalen also reminds passengers that smoking is not permitted aboard the ferries. Starting Monday, if a passenger does not comply, they will be asked to put out their cigarette, the vessel will continue to its destination port and the RCMP or RNC will be called to meet the passenger to press charges and levy a fine.


Media contact:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2008 02 29                                                     9:45 a.m.

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