Nova Scotia has an enviable driver and vehicle safety record.While there were 10,000 more vehicles registered in the provincein December 2002 than in December 1998, reportable collisionswere reduced by eight per cent between 1999 and 2002. Fatalitiesdeclined by 16 per cent in the same four-year period. Earlierthis year, Nova Scotia received a national award for safetyimprovements in commercial trucking. Some of the updates to the handbook involve non-motorizedvehicles. A bicycle safety brochure published by Service NovaScotia and Municipal Relations earlier this year is now part ofthe handbook. “Including the brochure in the Driver’s Handbook will ensure thatmore people are aware of their rights and their responsibility toshare the road, hopefully making the roads safer for cyclists,”said the department’s director of driver and vehicle safety, PaulArsenault. A Driver’s Handbook costs $7.49, including taxes, and isavailable from: Access Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) service counters www.servicens.ca/publications/ by calling the RMV Call Centre at 1-800-898-7668 by mail order at, Service Delivery and Operations Division, Registry of Motor Vehicles, PO Box 1652, Halifax, NS, B3J 2Z3. SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Province Issues New Driver’sHandbook If you have a driver’s licence – or if you’re thinking ofapplying for one – take a quick quiz to see how well youunderstand the rules of the road. The test is online atwww.servicens.ca/rmv/quiz/ and is available at Access Nova Scotiaor Registry of Motor Vehicle counters. The quiz is part of the launch of an updated Driver’s Handbook,which was released recently by Service Nova Scotia and MunicipalRelations. “The Driver’s Handbook explains how someone gets a driver’slicence or registers a vehicle, and helps them to be a betterdriver,” said Andrew Goodwin, manager of operations support atService Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “The test isanonymous and we’re not tracking results. No one is going to losetheir licence if they fail the quiz. It’s just a fun way ofdrawing attention to the updated version.” The revised Driver’s Handbook reflects changes to the MotorVehicle Act and safety programs introduced since the book waslast revised in 2000. These changes, which came into effect between 2001 and 2003, arehelping to make Nova Scotia’s drivers and driving habits safer: graduated speeding fines, the more dangerous the driver is, the larger the fine; new penalties for passing a school bus when its red lights are flashing or for ignoring crossing guards, making it safer for children travelling to school; and tougher licence reinstatement rules for people who are convicted of drunk driving, helping to keep unsafe drivers from behind the wheel.
Earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission issued a warning notice, after inspectors found a host of failings, including continued delays responding to 111 calls and failings in oversight of the trust.The trust is now expected to be put into special measures, following the publication of a damning inspection report by the watchdog. It comes amid speculation that the trust could merge with neighbouring South Central Ambulance Service. Paul Sutton resigned as chief executive of South East Coast Ambulance Service trust in May following the scandal A scandal-hit ambulance trust which deliberately delayed thousands of 111 calls is to be put into “special measures” over a damning inspection report.South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) has been under scrutiny following a Telegraph investigation which revealed that up to 20,000 patients were subject to delays under a covert operation.The policy, introduced by the trust’s then chief executive, meant patients – including those which classed as life-threatening – were left to wait up to twice as long if their call was referred via the helpline. Under NHS rules, calls designated as “life-threatening” are supposed to receive an ambulance response within eight minutes – regardless of whether the caller dials 999 or the non-emergency 111 line.But the ambulance trust, which covers Sussex, Kent, Surrey and North East Hampshire, unilaterally invented its own system to “stop the clock” and routinely downgrade 111 calls.In May, the trust’s chief executive Paul Sutton was forced to quit over the scandal. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.