Government is asking drivers to use caution when passing crews painting lines on Nova Scotia highways. Warmer, drier weather in Nova Scotia means the province is able to repaint the yellow and white lines on roadways. Despite crews using a number of large, bright vehicles, there were three serious incidents last year when they were hit from behind. “Freshly painted lines make the road safer for drivers,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “In turn, we hope drivers will keep our people safe while they’re doing this important work.” The province uses a string of vehicles, called a train, of a paint truck, trail vehicle, with a crash-absorbing trailer and electronic arrow board, and a second trail vehicle with an electronic message board. Approaching traffic must follow the instructions on the message and arrow boards until they pass the entire group. The province has four paint crews on the roads in dry weather. Their goal is to paint all road lines in the province by mid-October. Promoting work-zone safety is one of the province’s many road safety initiatives. May 13-19 is National Road Safety Week. For more road safety tips and information this week, follow @NS_TIR on Twitter.
Sydney: Media companies are responsible for defamatory comments made on their Facebook pages, an Australian court said in a landmark ruling Monday. The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that three media companies were responsible for user comments on a story about an indigenous youth detainee, Dylan Voller, in 2016 and 2017. Voller claimed that publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Sky News were responsible for comments on their public Facebook pages — alleging he was a rapist and that he attacked a Salvation Army officer leaving the man blind in one eye. His lawyers said the comments were defamatory. Voller had been held in a youth detention in the Northern Territories, and videos of him being mistreated by staff prompted a Royal Commission inquiry in 2016. Lawyers for the media companies argued they could not be expected to filter the hundreds and thousands of comments posted on their Facebook pages day and night. But, acknowledging the ruling related to an “emerging area” of law, the court found that the media companies could have screened or blocked defamatory comments. The court considered cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong, and ultimately determined companies should pay costs and potential damages, but left the door open for appeal. It did not rule on whether the comments themselves were defamatory. The case raises questions about laws governing Facebook and other social media sites, notably, whether Australia’s already stringent defamation laws — which strongly favour those claiming defamation — have become even tougher. “It could have far-reaching implications for media organisations using Facebook as a platform,” said lawyers at Addisons in a legal briefing paper.