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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

Bill 6

THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AMENDMENT ACT (FLEXIBLE SHORT-TERM REGULATION OF VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS)


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. H60 amended

1           The Highway Traffic Act is amended by this Act.

2(1)        Subsection 68(1) is replaced with the following:

Definitions

68(1)       The following definitions apply in this section.

"class A highway" means

(a) a non-provincial highway for which The City of Winnipeg is the traffic authority and that is not otherwise classified by a by-law enacted by the council of The City of Winnipeg;

(b) a non-provincial highway that is

(i) in a municipality outside The City of Winnipeg, or

(ii) in a local government district,

and is classified as a class A highway by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority; and

(c) a highway that is a provincial trunk highway, a provincial road, or a highway in unorganized territory, and is classified as a class A highway by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3). (« route de catégorie A »)

"class A1 highway" means

(a) a provincial trunk highway, except as otherwise provided by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3);

(b) a non-provincial highway that is in a municipality or local government district and is classified as a class A1 highway by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority; and

(c) a highway that is a provincial road, or a highway in unorganized territory, and is classified as a class A1 highway by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3). (« route de catégorie A1 »)

"class B highway" means

(a) a non-provincial highway that is

(i) in a municipality outside The City of Winnipeg, or

(ii) in a local government district,

and is not otherwise classified by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority;

(b) a highway in unorganized territory, except as otherwise provided by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3); and

(c) a highway that is a provincial trunk highway or a provincial road and is classified as a class B highway by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3). (« route de catégorie B »)

"class B1 highway" means

(a) a provincial road, except as otherwise provided by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3);

(b) a non-provincial highway that is in a municipality or local government district and is classified as a class B1 highway by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority; and

(c) a highway that is a provincial trunk highway, or a highway in unorganized territory, and is classified as a class B1 highway by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3). (« route de catégorie B1 »)

"class C highway" means

(a) a non-provincial highway that

(i) is in a municipality outside The City of Winnipeg,

(ii) was deemed to be a class C highway by subsection (12), and

(iii) is not otherwise classified by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority;

(b) a non-provincial highway — other than one referred to in clause (a) — that is

(i) in a municipality outside The City of Winnipeg, or

(ii) in a local government district,

and is classified as a class C highway by a by-law enacted by the highway's traffic authority; and

(c) a highway that is a provincial trunk highway, a provincial road, or a highway in unorganized territory, and is classified as a class C highway by a regulation made under subsection (3) or an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3). (« route de catégorie C »)

"highway in unorganized territory" means a highway in unorganized territory for which the minister is the traffic authority. (« route située en territoire non organisé »)

"non-provincial highway" means a highway other than a provincial trunk highway, a provincial road, or a highway in unorganized territory. (« route non provinciale »)

"provincial road" has the same meaning as in The Highways and Transportation Act. (« route provinciale secondaire »)

"provincial trunk highway" has the same meaning as in The Highways and Transportation Act. (« route provinciale à grande circulation »)

"traffic authority" does not include the owner of privately owned land on which a highway is located. (« autorité chargée de la circulation »)

2(2)        Subsection 68(3) is replaced with the following:

Regulations

68(3)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting vehicles or classes or combinations of vehicles operating on highways or classes of highways, including regulations

(a) prescribing permissible vehicle width, height and length, and permissible projections and overhangs of and from loads;

(b) respecting permissible

(i) gross vehicle weights and axle loadings,

(ii) weights of tires, axles or wheels,

(iii) numbers of axles or wheels,

(iv) axle spacings,

(v) weights on axle groups, and

(vi) weights according to wheelbase,

for vehicles, classes of vehicles or combinations of vehicles;

(c) respecting the method of determining wheelbase;

(d) respecting the standards for signs and equipment and types of oversize or overloaded vehicles with respect to which pilot or escort vehicles are, as a term of a permit under section 87, required to be used;

(e) respecting the measurement of vehicle weight and the provision of satisfactory evidence of vehicle weight;

(f) prescribing means of vehicle identification to be used in addition to number plates;

(g) for the purpose of the classes of highway defined in subsection (1), classifying or reclassifying a highway for which the minister is the traffic authority;

(h) subdividing or establishing a class of highways and designating a highway as within the subdivision or class;

(i) exempting vehicles or classes of vehicles from regulations made under this subsection;

(j) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this section.

2(3)        The following is added after subsection 68(3.1):

Delegation of power under subsection (3)

68(3.2)     When

(a) in the exercise of a power conferred under clause (3)(b), (g), (h) or (i), the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers it advisable that

(i) a period be established when, or

(ii) an area be designated in which or a similar thing be done having the effect that,

a regulation made under any of those clauses applies only during the period or in the area or applies in a different manner during the period or in the area; and

(b) the exercise of the power contemplates the existence of circumstances, such as climatic or other environmental factors, that are not ordinarily known in sufficient time to permit notice of the establishment or designation or other thing to be given by way of a regulation published in The Manitoba Gazette under The Regulations Act;

the Lieutenant Governor in Council may in a regulation made under clause (3)(b), (g), (h) or (i) provide that the period be established or area be designated for a specified time, or that the other thing be done, by order of the minister or the minister's delegate.

Variation of permissible weights and highway classifications by minister

68(3.3)     Despite subsection (3), the minister or the minister's delegate may by order, in respect of a highway for which the minister is the traffic authority,

(a) decrease or increase any of the permissible weights, loadings, spacings or other vehicle characteristics referred to in clause (3)(b) for a period of six months or less to take into account the effect of climatic or other environmental factors on the weight-bearing capability and durability of highways; or

(b) reclassify the highway for a period of two years or less for any reason.

Who the minister's delegate may be

68(3.4)     The minister may designate an employee of the department as the minister's delegate for the purpose of exercising the powers set out in subsection (3.2) or (3.3).

Order must state effective period

68(3.5)     An order made under subsection (3.3) must state the period during which the decrease, increase or reclassification is to be in effect.

Regulations Act does not apply

68(3.6)     The Regulations Act does not apply to an order made by the minister or the minister's delegate under subsection (3.2) or (3.3).

Publication of orders

68(3.7)     Without delay after an order is made for the purpose of subsection (3.2) or (3.3), it must be published by posting a copy on the department's website, along with a statement of the time and date of its posting.

When orders come into force

68(3.8)     An order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3) comes into force at the time of its posting in the manner set out in subsection (3.7) unless a later time is specified in the order.

Publication constitutes notice of order

68(3.9)     Publication of an order in the manner set out in subsection (3.7) is notice of the order to all persons.

Regulations and orders may be general or particular

68(3.10)    A regulation made under subsection (3) and an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3)

(a) may be general or particular in its application;

(b) may provide for different requirements during different periods or seasons of the year;

(c) may apply in whole or in part to one or more classes or types of vehicles or classes of persons to the exclusion of others; and

(d) may apply to all or any part of the province and to all or any portion of a highway.

Precedence of orders under subsection (3.2) or (3.3)

68(3.11)    When the provisions of an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3) are inconsistent with a regulation made under subsection (3), the order takes precedence to the extent of the inconsistency.

2(4)        The following is added after subsection 68(4):

Contravention of an order

68(4.1)     Except under the authority of a permit issued by the minister under section 87, no person shall

(a) operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles on a highway or portion of a highway in contravention of an order made under subsection (3.2) or (3.3); or

(b) cause or permit an action described in clause (a) to be done.

2(5)        Subsection 68(7) is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "municipality" and substituting "other traffic authorities"; and

(b) in the subsection,

(i) by striking out "council of any municipality may classify any highway with respect to which it is the traffic authority to any highway classification" and substituting "traffic authority of a highway — other than the minister — may, by by-law, classify all or a portion of the highway as any of the highway classes set out in subsection (1)", and

(ii) by striking out "highways with respect to" and substituting "all or a portion of a highway for".

2(6)        Subsection 68(8) is repealed.

2(7)        Subsection 68(11) is replaced with the following:

Signage

68(11)      The traffic authority of a highway must, at each end of an affected length of highway, erect and maintain traffic control devices informing the public about

(a) a change in the classification of the highway that results in a decrease in the permissible dimensions, weights, loadings, spacings or other vehicle characteristics of vehicles being operated or moved on the highway; or

(b) a decrease, ordered under subsection (3.3), in the permissible weights, loadings, spacings or other vehicle characteristics of vehicles being operated or moved on the highway.

2(8)        Clauses 68(13)(a) and (13.1)(a) are amended by adding "or order" after "a regulation".

2(9)         Clause 68(14)(b) of the English version is amended by striking out "proving the maximum gross" and substituting "proving the gross".

2(10)       The following is added before subsection 69(1):

Application of section 86

68(16)       When the provisions of an order, regulation, resolution or by-law validly made under section 86 are inconsistent with a regulation or order under this section, the order, regulation, resolution or by-law under section 86 takes precedence to the extent of the inconsistency.

3           Section 86 and the centred heading before it are replaced with the following:

TRAFFIC AUTHORITIES' JURISDICTION RE CONDITIONS OF USE OF HIGHWAYS

Changes in use of highways and structures when the minister is the traffic authority

86(1)       With or without conditions and in accordance with subsections (2) and (3),

(a) the minister or the minister's delegate may by order, in respect of a highway for which the minister is the traffic authority or a structure forming part of the highway,

(i) prohibit drivers from using the highway or structure,

(ii) restrict drivers' use of the highway or structure, except as to permissible vehicle dimensions or weight,

(iii) restrict the permissible dimensions of vehicles that use the highway or structure, or

(iv) restrict or increase the permissible weight of vehicles that use the highway or structure,

for a period of two years or less; and

(b) the minister may by regulation

(i) impose a prohibition or restriction described in any of subclauses (a)(i) to (iv) in respect of a structure forming part of a highway for which the minister is the traffic authority, or

(ii) impose a prohibition or restriction described in subclause (a)(i) or (ii) in respect of a highway for which the minister is the traffic authority,

for a period longer than two years.

Who the minister's delegate may be

86(2)       The minister may designate an employee of the department as the minister's delegate for the purpose of exercising the powers set out in clause (1)(a).

Order must state effective period

86(3)       An order made under clause (1)(a) must state the period during which the prohibition, restriction or increase is to be in effect.

Regulations Act does not apply

86(4)       The Regulations Act does not apply to an order made by the minister or the minister's delegate under clause (1)(a).

Publication of orders

86(5)       Without delay after an order is made for the purpose of clause (1)(a), it must be published by posting a copy on the department's website, along with a statement of the time and date of its posting.

When orders come into force

86(6)       An order comes into force at the time of its posting in the manner set out in subsection (5) unless a later time is specified in the order.

Publication constitutes notice of order

86(7)       Publication of an order in the manner set out in subsection (5) is notice of the order to all persons.

Regulations by the minister

86(8)       The minister may make regulations respecting prohibitions and restrictions under clause (1)(b) that are effective for longer than two years.

Changes re use of other highways and structures

86(9)       With or without conditions and in accordance with subsection (10), a traffic authority other than the minister may, in respect of a highway under its authority or a structure forming part of the highway,

(a) prohibit drivers from using, or restrict their use of, the highway or structure;

(b) restrict the permissible dimensions of vehicles that use the highway or structure; or

(c) restrict the permissible weights of vehicles that use the highway or structure.

Action by municipal and other traffic authorities

86(10)      When a municipality, a local government district or the council of a band, as traffic authority of a highway, imposes a prohibition or restriction under subsection (9), it must

(a) if the prohibition or restriction is for two years or less, impose it by resolution; and

(b) if the prohibition or restriction is for longer than two years, impose it by by-law.

Resolution must state effective period

86(11)      A resolution under clause (10)(a) must state the period during which the prohibition or restriction is to be in effect.

By-law increasing allowable weight

86(12)      A municipality, a local government district or the council of a band, as the traffic authority of a highway, may, by by-law, increase the permissible weight of vehicles that use the highway or a structure forming part of it.

Traffic board must approve by-law

86(13)      A prohibition or restriction imposed by a by-law made under clause (10)(b) or an increase in permissible weight under subsection (12) does not take effect until the traffic board approves the by-law.

Resolution or by-law affecting provincial highway

86(14)      When a traffic authority's resolution or by-law affects a provincial highway, the resolution or by-law has no effect unless it is approved in writing by the minister or the minister's delegate, and the notice of approval is attached to and forms part of the resolution or by-law.

Regulations, orders, by-laws and resolutions may be general or particular

86(15)      A regulation, order, by-law or resolution made under this section

(a) may be general or particular in its application;

(b) may apply in whole or in part to one or more classes or types of vehicles or classes of persons to the exclusion of others; and

(c) in the case of

(i) a regulation or order, may apply to all or any part of the province and to all or any portion of a highway or structure forming part of a highway, or

(ii) a by-law or resolution, may apply to all or any part of the area over which the maker of the by-law or resolution has local government authority and to all or any portion of a highway or structure forming part of a highway.

Signage

86(16)      A traffic authority that imposes a prohibition or restriction under subsection (1) or (9) must erect and maintain traffic control devices warning the public about the prohibition or restriction. The devices must be erected and maintained

(a) at each end of the affected length of highway; or

(b) if the prohibition or restriction affects only a structure, at each approach to the affected structure.

Barricades

86(17)      A traffic authority that imposes a prohibition under subsection (1) or (9) must erect and maintain adequate barricades

(a) at each end of the affected length of highway; or

(b) if the prohibition affects only a structure, at each approach to the affected structure.

Offence: excess weight less than 2,000 kg

86(18)      A person is guilty of an offence if the person

(a) drives or tows a vehicle; or

(b) causes or permits a vehicle to be driven or towed;

that, by an excess weight of less than 2,000 kg, exceeds the permissible weight set by an order, regulation, resolution or by-law made under this section.

Offence: excess weight of  2,000 kg or more

86(19)      A person is guilty of an offence if the person

(a) drives or tows a vehicle; or

(b) causes or permits a vehicle to be driven or towed;

that, by an excess weight of 2,000 kg or more, exceeds the permissible weight set by an order, regulation, resolution or by-law made under this section.

Penalty for excess weight

86(20)      A person who commits an offence under subsection (18) or (19) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $13.20 for each 50 kg, or fraction of that amount, by which the actual gross weight of the vehicle, a single axle or an axle group exceeds the maximum gross weight permitted by the order, regulation, resolution or by-law.

Calculating fine based on excess weight

86(21)      In calculating a fine for an offence under subsection (18) or (19),

(a) if the evidence proving the gross weight of the vehicle was obtained from portable scales of a type approved for the purpose by the minister, no account shall be taken of 500 kg or 5% of the maximum gross weight allowed, whichever is less; and

(b) if the evidence proving the gross weight of the vehicle was obtained by a scale certified by a tester appointed under subsection 73(1), no account shall be taken of 500 kg or 2% of the maximum gross weight allowed, whichever is less.

Penalty re other contraventions

86(22)      A person who contravenes or fails to comply with a prohibition or restriction imposed under subclause (1)(a)(i) or (ii), clause (1)(b) or clause (9)(a) or (b) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to the penalties set out in section 239.

Vehicles driven or towed under permit

86(23)      Despite subsections (18), (19) and (22), a person is not guilty of an offence if the person's contravention or failure to comply is condoned by a permit issued under section 87.

Vicarious responsibility

86(24)      For the purpose of this section, a person is deemed to have caused or permitted a vehicle to be driven or towed if it is driven or towed by someone who

(a) is the person's employee or agent; and

(b) while driving or towing the vehicle, is acting within the general scope of that employment or agency.

INSPECTION STATIONS

Highway traffic inspection stations

86.1(1)     The traffic authority of a highway may establish at any place on the highway a permanent or temporary inspection station. An inspection station must be identified by means of a traffic control device approved as required by section 81.

Trucks required to stop

86.1(2)     When an inspection station has been established and the proper traffic control device is displayed, the driver of a truck passing the traffic control device

(a) must proceed directly to and stop at the station for inspection; and

(b) must not proceed unless permitted to do so by the inspector or other person in charge of the station, or by a peace officer.

When trucks not required to stop

86.1(3)     Subsection (2) does not apply when the truck is exempted by the regulations or the inspection station displays a sign indicating that it is closed.

Co-operation by driver

86.1(4)     A person who has taken a vehicle to scales or stopped a vehicle at an inspection station, as required under this section, must render such reasonable assistance to a peace officer or inspector in the weighing or inspection of the vehicle as the peace officer or inspector requires.

Coming into force

4           This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends several provisions of The Highway Traffic Act that pertain to the regulation of weights and dimensions of vehicles that are driven or towed on highways. The amendments provide more flexibility for short-term and seasonal variations in permissible vehicle weights and dimensions. They also rationalize the short-term and seasonal variations with the existing authority of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations about highway classification and permissible weights and dimensions.

Some of the significant amendments are:

  • The Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, or the minister's delegate, may make short-term orders reclassifying highways for which the minister is the traffic authority. In this context, "short-term" means a period of not more than two years.
  • The minister, or the minister's delegate, may also make short-term or seasonal orders decreasing or increasing permissible vehicle weights and dimensions on highways for which the minister is the traffic authority and short-term orders prohibiting or restricting the use of specific highways or highway structures. This is in addition to the current power of the minister to make regulations for longer-term prohibitions and restrictions.
  • The Bill specifies who the minister's delegate may be and how notice of a short-term or seasonal order is to be given.
  • Uniform penalties are provided for weight-based offences.
  • The Bill establishes that a short-term or seasonal order or other instrument overrides an inconsistent provision of a regulation or other long-term or permanent instrument.
  • The powers of traffic authorities other than the minister are clarified.

Several related provisions are updated to reflect these amendments and for better organization.