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Only a fraction of Nova Scotia’s road hazard claims result in compensation, NDP critic says

Click to play video: 'Only a fraction of Nova Scotia’s road hazard claims result in compensation' Only a fraction of Nova Scotia’s road hazard claims result in compensation
WATCH: Nova Scotia’s temperature swings are the perfect recipe for potholes. But as Jeremy Keefe tells us, a freedom of information request has found that drivers who hit a hazard in Nova Scotia are unlikely to be compensated – Jan 10, 2020

Fewer than eight per cent of Nova Scotians who submitted road hazard damage claims in each of the past five years have been compensated by the province, a freedom of information request filed by the NDP has found.

That number shrinks to about five per cent this past year, as only 47 out of 910 claims were successful.

“People feel let down by the government when it looks like there’s something in place to help them, and really, the numbers show it’s not,” said Susan Leblanc, the NDP’s transportation and infrastructure renewal critic.

“The fact that the compensation numbers are so low speaks to the frustration that people are feeling,” said Leblanc.

READ MORE: N.S. motorist frustrated after $1,500 pothole repair claim denied by the province

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Leblanc heard from a number of constituents over the years who have expressed frustration, not only over road conditions, but also over the struggle to get compensated for costly repairs to their vehicles.

She said it’s the province’s duty to protect drivers from unnecessary road hazards, as well as to outline how to be compensated when those hazards send them to the repair shop.

“The government has to become more transparent and the process has to [be] laid out,” she said.

“These claims are for thousands of dollars sometimes and in situations where people have been put into danger.”

READ MORE: A thousand potholes left on Halifax Regional Municipality’s spring repair list

In a statement, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said, “Once TIR is made aware of a pothole, the service standards clock begins.

“If TIR is aware of a pothole and the service standard to fix the pothole has elapsed, then there could be compensation to the driver.”

Only a fraction of Nova Scotia’s road hazard claims result in compensation, NDP critic says - image
Jeremy Keefe / Global News
NS Pothole Criteria & Response Time Table
NS Pothole Criteria & Response Time Table. Jeremy Keefe / Global News

TIR says they become aware of many potholes by conducting their own patrols as well as public reports. Anyone who wants to report a road hazard can do so by calling 1-844-696-7737.

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