Victoria – While the focus on the 2020 Spring Provincial Throne speech was about getting past protesters and a surprise when it comes to Rapid transit for the valley, there was another nugget that will affect many drivers.
Proposed amendments that clarify and update the Motor Vehicle Act have been introduced as Bill 2, the motor vehicle amendment act, 2020.
Proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act support road safety and better trained drivers by enabling government to require standardized training as a pre-licensing requirement for various classes of drivers’ licences. Amendments would require any prescribed training courses to be approved by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and provided by a person or organization authorized by ICBC.
The proposed amendments afford government the authority to provide exemptions and to delegate authority to ICBC to provide exemptions. They also delegate to ICBC the authority to determine if training received in other jurisdictions meets B.C. standards.
The proposed amendments also include various minor clarifications in the Motor Vehicle Act that respond to requests from road safety stakeholders. Notably, if passed, changes will include adding sheriff vehicles under the definition of emergency vehicle and enabling sheriffs to activate emergency lights and proceed through red lights in certain circumstances – for example, when a prisoner is in medical distress.
As well, the changes will clarify residency requirements that entitle a person to hold a B.C. driver’s licence and allow ICBC to extend driving privileges during a state of emergency to people whose licences are expiring or have just expired.