Key Legislative and Regulatory Services Initiatives

Safety Regulations

Enhancing Passenger Safety

The Manitoba government has strengthened laws to enhance safety for people transported in wheelchairs by establishing requirements for equipment used to immobilize wheelchairs and restrain occupants, thus offering safety comparable to that enjoyed by passengers in conventional vehicle seats.

Effective December 1, 2015, drivers transporting people in wheelchairs were prohibited from driving unless:

  • Every occupied wheelchair in a motor vehicle is secured properly .
  • Every wheelchair occupant in a motor vehicle is restrained properly.

Keeping people transported in wheelchairs safe requires specified wheelchair tie-down systems and occupant restraint systems.  
Related regulations :

  • exempt certain classes of people and vehicles from the new legislative requirements, including drivers of personal vehicles and drivers of regular or scheduled service municipal transit buses
  • prescribe equipment standards for mobile wheelchair and occupant restraint systems
  • require vehicles that transport people in wheelchairs, including school buses and vehicles operated by handi-transit services, accessible taxi services, community care homes and health care facilities, etc., are equipped with systems that meet one of the prescribed standards, unless exempt in regulation

The Manitoba government has strengthened the laws to provide greater safety for people riding in vehicles on provincial highways.

Effective December 1, 2014:

  • Vehicles can carry no more passengers than the number of seats for which there are seat belts.
  • Transporting passengers in cargo areas (ex: truck boxes, trunks, trailers, rear cargo areas) is against the law.
  • Drivers will not be allowed to drive if:
    • Passengers are not in proper seating positions.
    • More than one passenger occupies a single seating position.
    • Passengers share a seat belt.
    • There are more passengers in the vehicle than there are seats with seat belts.

The fine for failing to follow these requirements under The Highway Traffic Act is $203.80. The fine for drivers and passengers of any age failing to wear a seat belt remains at $299.65. A driver who fails to make sure people under the age of 18 are wearing seat belts before driving a vehicle with them in it may be fined $299.65.

Emergency and Enforcement Personnel Safety

On September 12, 2014, amendments to The Highway Traffic Act came into force expanding the cautionary measures drivers must take when passing emergency vehicles and other designated vehicles stopped at the roadside. In addition to requirements for drivers to proceed with caution when approaching emergency vehicles and to pass only when it is safe, drivers are also required to slow their vehicle to:

  • 40  kilometres per hour if the speed limit on the highway is under 80 kilometres per hour
  • 60  kilometres per hour if the speed limit on the highway is 80  kilometres per hour or more

Drivers must also exercise these cautionary measures when approaching and passing emergency or designated vehicles that are stopped on the opposite side of undivided highways.

The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Respect for the Safety of Emergency and Enforcement Personnel) can be viewed at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2013/c00413e.php#.

Safety in Construction Zones

On May 16, 2014, The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Safety of Workers in Highways Construction Zones) and the Designated Construction Zone Regulationcame into force. The amendments created an offence for speeding in a designated construction zone, doubling the standard fine for speeding . The amendments also established signage requirements for designated construction zones, including the eliminating the 60 when passing workers sign. 

The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Safety of Workers in Highways Construction Zones) can be viewed at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2013/c02113e.php#.

The Designated Construction Zone Regulation can be viewed at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs.php?reg=145/2014.

Speed Limits in School Zones

In September 2013, amendments to The Highway Traffic Act came into force that authorize local governments such as municipalities, Northern community councils and First Nation band councils to create bylaws to reduce speeds in school zones. Local governments may reduce speeds on roadways within their geographical boundaries, including roads under provincial jurisdiction, provided it is done in accordance with the Reduced-Speed School Zones Regulation.

Legislative and Regulatory Services prepared a Guide to the Establishment of Reduced Speed School Zones for use by local governments. The guide is available on the Manitoba Infrastructure website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/ transpolicy/lrs/pdf/guide_reduced_speed_school_zones.pdf.

The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Speed Limits in School Zones) can be found at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2012/c00512e.php .

The Reduced-Speed School Zones Regulation can be viewed at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs.php?reg=136/2013.

Booster Seat Requirements

On August 8, 2013, amendments to The Highway Traffic Act took effect requiring use of booster seats for older children travelling in vehicles. The new legislation and its accompanying regulation, the Child Restraining Devices Regulation, require children to use a child restraining device until they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • 145 centimetres tall ( 4 feet 9 inches)
  • weight of 36 kilograms (80 pounds)
  • nine years old

The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Use of Child Safety Seats) can be viewed at
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2012/c01012e.php#.

The Child Restraining Devices Regulation can be viewed at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs.php?reg=89/2013.

More information about booster seats and child safety seats can be found at http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/hlp/injury/booster.html

Bicycle Helmets

On May 1, 2013, amendments to The Highway Traffic Act came into force requiring cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a properly fitted and fastened protective helmet when they are operating a bicycle, riding as a passenger on a bicycle or riding in anything that is towed or attached to a bicycle (ex: a bike trailer ). Bicycle helmets must comply with the standards set out in the Bicycle Helmets Regulation.

First-time offenders not wearing a helmet can have the fine waived if they complete a unique bicycle helmet safety course. The course includes watching a bike helmet video and answering questions related to bike helmet safety.

The Highway Traffic Amendment and Summary Convictions Amendment Act (Bicycle Helmets) can be viewed at: http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2012/c03912e.php#P1.

The Bicycle Helmets Regulation can be viewed at
http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs.php?reg=39/2013.

More information about bicycle safety including tips for properly fitting helmets and the low cost helmet initiative can be found at http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/hlp/bikesafety/#bike.

Safety Regulations Videos