Monday, October 19, 2009

Registrar of Motor Vehicles Enforces Recommendation 24 from Coroners Jury

On Sunday, October 18, I received a call from someone who told me that they had recieved a letter in the mail from Charles O'Donnel, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. The letter stated that from now on, anyone who drives a vehicle that carries more than ten passengers, including the driver, is required to go to a commercial motor vehicle inspection (MVI) station for a MVI every six months by a licensed, heavy duty mechanic.

Coincidentally, the next day, there was a letter to the editor of the Telegraph Journal from a man who was complaining that these "new regulations" discriminated against large families who use passenger vans for transportation.

Citing his own example, he and his wife have six children and from now on they're going to have to follow the rules for driving a "bus" such as a pre-trip inspection, keeping a log book for trips of more than 160 k, higher tire standards and the twice yearly inspections by a heavy duty mechanic at a commercial vehicle inspection station.

We want people to know that this is not a "new" regulation. These passenger vans which carry 10 and more people are and always were "buses" but were improperly registered as "passenger vehicles" or cargoe vans and thus, were not rigorously inspected as they should have been. During the Coroners Inquest in May this error in registration of the white passenger van in which our sons died became a central focus of the inquest. At the end of the Inquest, Coroner Greg Foresstal recommended that "The registrar of the Department of Motor Vehicles should advise all licensees that 15-passenger vans are to be inspected twice a year, regardless of who operates them."

It has taken nearly six months, but finally, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is implementing Recommendation #24 of the Coroners Inquest into the death of our sons.

Here is the letter that was sent out by Charles O'Donnell, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles on October 15, to every person in New Brunswick who possesses a Class 1, 2, 3-4 and 4 license. These licensees can drive a vehicle that carries 10 or more people.


To: All New Brunswick Licensed drivers' class 1, 2, 3-4 and 4.

RE: Operation of vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 passengers or more (including driver)


The Government of New Brunswick draws your attention to the following directions for drivers licensed under New Brunswick's Motor Vehicle Act holding a class 1,2,3-4,4.

For all drivers of vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 passengers or more (including driver):

Regulation 84-185 of the Motor Vehicle Act requires that buses, school buses or contracted conveyances and taxis are subject to motor vehicle inspection twice a year. These vehicles must bear an SV (semiannual) inspection sticker. The Motor Vehicle Act describes bus as "any motor vehicle designed for carrying ten or more passengers and used for the transportation of persons." lf you do not have a proper SV type sticker your current LV sticker will be honored for up to 6 months from the inspection date.

For several years passenger vans were inspected using the New Brunswick Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual. To enhance vehicle safety, from this date forward, all vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 passengers or more [including driver] are subject to a "Heavy Vehicle Inspection" using the Periodic Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections manual. These vehicles, after inspection, must bear an SV (semi-annual) inspection sticker. For a list of vehicle inspection stations in your area, you can consult the Automobile section of the yellow pages in your telephone directory.

In order to drive a vehicle with a seating capacity of 10 passengers or more including the driver), you require a Class 1,2,3-4 or 4 driver's license.

The Motor Vehicle Act's Regulations require drivers / owners of these vehicles to abide by a series of requirements, including:

a maximum driving time of 13 hours a day;
a maximum on-duty time of 14 hours a day;
a person cannot drive after 16 hours from the time work began that day,
regardless of the number of on-duty hours worked.
Drivers must also maintain and carry a driver's log book if traveling
outside a radius of 160 km of their home terminal.
Drivers must also comply with Daily Trip Inspection (NSC Standard 13) requirements
by performing a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle.

Drivers must also comply with the Daily Trip Inspection (NSC Standard 13) requirements by performing a pre-trip
inspection of the vehicle.

Please contact the Motor Vehicle Branch at 506-453-2410 for detailed information and assistance regardiing your specific
situation /circumstances.


Charles A. 0'Donnell
Registrar of Motor Vehicles