The Drivers and Vehicles Amendment and Highway Traffic Amendment Act

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S.M. 2022, c. 13

Bill 15, 4th Session, 42nd Legislature

The Drivers and Vehicles Amendment and Highway Traffic Amendment Act

Explanatory Note

This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.

This Bill amends The Drivers and Vehicles Act and The Highway Traffic Act in three respects.

Medical reports and medical review committee

Currently, The Highway Traffic Act requires medical practitioners and optometrists to report to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles when a person has a disease or disability that can interfere with their ability to drive a vehicle. The Medical Review Committee is also established under that Act. Both provisions are moved from The Highway Traffic Act to The Drivers and Vehicles Act to align more closely with other provisions governing driver licensing.

In addition, the minister is given the authority to determine the composition of the Medical Review Committee and appoint members. When appointing members, the minister must ensure there is a sufficient range of medical expertise and experience for the committee to carry out its responsibilities.

Police reports

Police reports under The Highway Traffic Act no longer have to be made in person at a detachment but can be filed electronically instead.

Safety fitness certificate appeals

Commercial operators of regulated vehicles require a safety fitness certificate issued under The Highway Traffic Act. Currently, an operator can appeal a director's decision about their safety fitness certificate to the minister. These appeals are now heard by the Licence Suspension Appeal Board.

(Assented to June 1, 2022)

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

PART 1

THE DRIVERS AND VEHICLES ACT

C.C.S.M. c. D104 amended

1

The Drivers and Vehicles Act is amended by this Part.

2(1)

Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definition:

"medical review committee" means the medical review committee continued under section 18.3. (« comité d'étude des dossiers médicaux »)

2(2)

Subsection 1(2) is amended by striking out ""medical review committee"".

3

The following is added after section 18.1 and before the centred heading "Appeal to Medical Review Committee":

Mandatory reporting by medical practitioners and optometrists

18.2(1)

A duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist must provide a report to the registrar if, in the practitioner or optometrist's opinion, a person under the care of the practitioner or optometrist who holds a valid driver's licence

(a) has developed a disease or disability that may interfere with safely driving a motor vehicle that may be driven with the class of driver's licence held by the person; or

(b) has experienced a significant deterioration of an existing disease or disability, such that it may interfere with safely driving a motor vehicle that may be driven with the class of driver's licence held by the person.

Content of report

18.2(2)

The report must include

(a) the name and address of the duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist;

(b) the name and address of the person under the care of the duly qualified medical practitioner or optometrist; and

(c) a description of the person's disease or disability and the manner in which it may interfere with safely driving a motor vehicle that may be driven with the class of driver's licence held by the person.

Report is privileged

18.2(3)

The report is privileged and for the information of the registrar only. It is not admissible as evidence in any action or proceeding, other than an appeal to the medical review committee under section 19.

Medical Review Committee

Medical review committee continued

18.3(1)

The medical review committee established under The Highway Traffic Act is hereby continued under this Act.

Mandate

18.3(2)

The mandate of the medical review committee is to hear and decide

(a) appeals under section 19 (action after medical or optometric assessment);

(b) appeals under subsection 23(2) (action after impaired driver assessment); and

(c) appeals under subsection 124.6(3) of The Highway Traffic Act (physically disabled person's parking permit).

Members

18.4(1)

The medical review committee is to consist of not less than five members to be appointed by the minister.

Member expertise

18.4(2)

In appointing members, the minister must have regard to the need to ensure that the committee as a whole represents a sufficient range of medical expertise and experience to carry out its responsibilities effectively.

Term of membership

18.4(3)

A member is to be appointed for a term of not more than three years, and no member may serve more than ten consecutive years.

Terms to be staggered

18.4(4)

When appointing a member and establishing the member's term of office, the minister must have regard to the need to ensure that the terms of office of not more than half of the members expire in any one year.

Appointment continues

18.4(5)

A member continues to hold office until they are re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.

Remuneration and expenses

18.4(6)

Each member of the medical review committee may be paid the remuneration and expenses determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Quorum

18.5

A quorum of the medical review committee is three members.

Rules of procedure

18.6

The medical review committee may make or adopt rules of procedure.

Appeal fee

18.7(1)

Subject to subsection (2), a person who makes an appeal to the medical review committee must pay the appeal fee prescribed by the regulations to the Minister of Finance.

Waiver of appeal fee

18.7(2)

The medical review committee may waive the payment of the fee if it is satisfied that the payment would cause undue financial hardship to the appellant.

Hearing process

18.8(1)

The medical review committee may hear an appeal orally or in writing.

Committee not bound by rules of evidence

18.8(2)

The medical review committee is not bound by the rules of evidence that apply to a judicial proceeding.

Additional examinations

18.8(3)

For the purpose of an appeal, the medical review committee may

(a) require the appellant to undergo a medical or optometric examination at the appellant's expense; and

(b) require the appellant to produce

(i) a medical report from a duly qualified medical practitioner concerning any aspect of the appellant's health or physical or mental condition the committee considers relevant, or

(ii) a report from an optometrist concerning the appellant's vision.

Decision of committee

18.9(1)

After hearing an appeal, the medical review committee may confirm, quash or vary the decision under appeal.

Decision is final

18.9(2)

The decision of the medical review committee is final.

4

Clause 20(a) is amended by adding "or 18.2(1)" after "subsection 18(1)".

5

Clause 27(a) of the English version is replaced with the following:

(a) vision;

6

The following is added after clause 32(1)(h):

(h.1) respecting standards and guidelines in relation to determining when a disease or disability may be expected to interfere with safely driving a vehicle for the purpose of driver licensing;

(h.2) prescribing a fee payable for appeals to the medical review committee;

PART 2

THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT

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

7

The Highway Traffic Act is amended by this Part.

8

Subsection 1(1) is amended by replacing the definition "medical review committee" with the following:

"medical review committee" means medical review committee as defined in The Drivers and Vehicles Act; (« comité d'étude des dossiers médicaux »)

9

Subsection 31(8) of the English version is amended

(a) by striking out "eyesight" and substituting "vision"; and

(b) by striking out "his" wherever it occurs and substituting "their".

10

Subsection 155(10) is amended

(a) in clause (a) of the English version, by striking out "made at a detachment" and substituting "provided to a detachment";

(b) in clause (b), in the part before subclause (i), by striking out "on a form" and substituting "in a form"; and

(c) in clause (c), by adding "by means of an original or electronic signature" after "signed".

11

Section 157 is repealed.

12

Clause 319(1)(i) is repealed.

13

Clause 322(3)(c) of the French version is amended by striking out "qualifié".

14

Subsection 322(4) is amended

(a) by striking out "under section 157 or 279" and substituting "to the medical review committee or the appeal board";

(b) in the English version, by striking out "him" and substituting "them";

(c) in the French version, by striking out "qualifié"; and

(d) by striking out "The Licence Suspension Appeal Board, the Medical Review Committee" and substituting "the medical review committee, the appeal board".

15

Subsections 322.1(5) and (6) are replaced with the following:

Appeal to appeal board

322.1(5)

An operator in respect of whom a director exercised a power under subsection (3) may appeal the director's decision to the appeal board within 30 days after the decision is made.

Stay of decision

322.1(5.1)

 The appeal does not stay the director's decision unless

(a) the director's decision states that it is stayed by an appeal to the appeal board; or

(b) the appeal board grants a stay pending the outcome of the appeal.

Right to make submissions

322.1(5.2)

 When hearing the appeal, the appeal board must provide the appellant and the director with an opportunity to present evidence and make submissions, in person or through legal counsel.

Application of appeal board provisions

322.1(5.3)

 The following provisions apply, with necessary changes, to the hearing of the appeal:

(a) subsections 279(5) to (7) (making an appeal);

(b) subsections 279(9) to (12) (evidence);

(c) subsections 279(14) to (17) (hearing);

(d) subsection 279(28) (waiver or refund of charge);

(e) subsection 279(30) (failure to appear);

(f) subsection 279(33) (decision).

A reference to "the registrar" in any of these provisions is to be read as "the director".

Appeal board's powers on appeal

322.1(6)

After hearing the appeal, the appeal board may confirm the director's decision, quash the decision or vary it in any manner the appeal board considers appropriate.

PART 3

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS,
CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT
AND COMING INTO FORCE

Medical review committee members

16(1)

A person who is a member of the medical review committee established under The Highway Traffic Act immediately before the coming into force of this section remains a member of the medical review committee continued under The Drivers and Vehicles Act until they resign, their term expires or their appointment is revoked.

Existing appeals

16(2)

An appeal made to the medical review committee established under The Highway Traffic Act before the coming into force of this section must be heard by the medical review committee continued under The Drivers and Vehicles Act in accordance with that Act.

Operator appeals

17

An appeal to the minister under subsection 322.1(5) of The Highway Traffic Act made before the coming into force of this section must be heard by the minister in accordance with subsection 322.1(6) of that Act as it read immediately before the coming into force of this section.

C.C.S.M. c. P215 amended

18

Section 50 of The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act is amended by striking out "sections 155, 156, 157, 158 and 159" and substituting "sections 155, 158 and 159".

Coming into force

19

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