As of Feb. 1, drivers will see changes to motor vehicle inspection procedures designed to make Nova Scotia’s highways and roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. New motor vehicle inspection procedures, an increase in inspection fees and a requirement for drivers to keep a copy of inspection certificates, are among the latest amendments to the motor vehicle inspection regulations. Industry will have new inspection rules and penalties for non-compliance. “First and foremost, these changes will help improve safety for Nova Scotians,” said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “These are the first fee increases in more than 13 years and reflect inflationary costs associated with business. The new rates are consistent with those charged in other provinces.” Roadside safety inspections have found vehicles that did not meet standards despite having a valid inspection sticker. The new regulations will help prevent possible fraudulent inspections and increase penalties. They enhance qualifications for testers and increase accountability of station operators to ensure the quality of safety inspections. Fee increases cover the cost to remove wheels to improve brake inspections on passenger vehicles and light trucks, and rising costs for station operators. The new safety inspection fees are as follows: $25 (from $15.50) for passenger cars, station wagons, trucks or motorized homes. $14 (from $11.50) for motorcycles or motor-driven cycles. $35 (from $25.50) for trucks or truck tractors, buses or motorized homes with single rear axle designed for four wheels. $85 (from $56.50) for trucks or truck tractors with two or more rear axles. $10 (from $8.50) for trailers or semi-trailers with one axle. $15 (from $13.50) for trailers or semi-trailers equipped with brakes, with two axles, and a registered weight of 4,500 kilograms or less. $35 (from $26.50) for trailers or semi-trailers with a registered weight of more than 4,500 kilograms. A series of training sessions will be held across the province beginning in January 2007 for all motor vehicle inspection testers. The sessions will focus on changes to the motor vehicle inspection regulations, the new motor vehicle inspection manual, and include information on the new standards for vehicle testers. For more information, visit the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations website at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr.
Hundreds of Dutch tourists will be flown home in the coming days from Sri Lanka in the wake of the Easter bombings, according to the guarantee scheme governing Dutch tour operators, the AFP news service reported.Following the attacks, which killed 253 people, around 500 Dutch visitors who remain in Sri Lanka will be flown home “within days,” the director of the Calamiteitenfonds group said Friday. “We estimate between 400 and 500 people are travelling in Sri Lanka under our guarantee,” Reuvere told AFP. He said they would be flown home either on scheduled flights or a “probable” charter operated by the TUI group on Monday. The repatriation comes after the Dutch foreign ministry late Thursday recommended only essential trips be made to the island, citing the potential danger of further attacks by fugitive terrorists.The ministry warned the security situation on the island remained “unpredictable and uncertain”. “We are currently in consultations with affiliated organisations,” said Erik Jan Reuvere, whose fund acts as insurer and coordinator for tour operators in times of crisis. “The foreign ministry informed us there was no serious danger but that it was reasonable to (recommend) breaking off trips and for travellers to return to the Netherlands,” said Reuver.At least 253 people died Sunday when attackers blew themselves up at several churches and hotels in blasts which officials have blamed on local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.Three of the fatalities were Dutch nationals, two of them also holding Swiss citizenship.