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.
While many woke up pleasantly surprised by the sunny weather this week, many British people have reported suffering itchy eyes, runny noses and headaches early on in the year.The unseasonably mild weather has brought flowers into full bloom, causing some pollens to be released a full month early.The Met Office usually starts its pollen count around the end of March, but this year they have noticed pollen levels rise weeks earlier.A spokesperson told The Telegraph: “Due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures and the dry weather, some species of pollen may already be in the atmosphere, so the pollen season may have started a little earlier.”As we go into March, we are likely to see more notable amounts.”Those who suffer particularly badly from hay fever have been advised to start stocking up on medicine now, as the season appears to be beginning.Holly Shaw, a spokesperson for Allergy UK, said: “We have had a very mild winter and that could lend itself to trees releasing pollen early.”If people start to become symptomatic they should start taking their medications early so they will be most effective when the pollen levels really peak.”If they have them already that is great, otherwise talk to a pharmacist who will be able to help.” 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. Dr Beverley Adams-Groom, a hay fever expert and pollen forecaster at the University of Worcester, said: “There’s two things going on really.”First of all, we’ve had very good weather for the production of pollen in the trees that are currently flowering, like hazel and alder.”To coincide with the readiness of the pollen to fly, we have got really good weather for dispersal: warm and sunny. That’s allowing for the dispersal of the pollen, just at the peak time when it’s ready to fly.” Many have complained on social media of having hay fever symptoms as early as February.Musician Connor Ball from The Vamps wrote that he had seen someone “sneeze seven times”, tweeting: “Omg I’ve just seen a man sneeze 7 times in a row and I thought I had hayfever”.Another Twitter user, Paul, added: “Is it possible to get hay fever in February? Normally suffer in May/June but this is ridiculous.”Chemists have started to place their hay fever medications at the front of the shop, with Superdrug promoting offers on nasal sprays.