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