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Nova Scotia Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

Escort Vehicles

Vehicles used to provide escort services during the movement of overdimensional loads must: 

  • have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating no greater than 8000 kg 
  • have no more than 2 axles 
  • have a wheelbase of at least 2.5 m 
  • not carry cargo or tow a trailer. Only equipment and passengers related to the movement of the oversize/overweight load can be carried in the escort vehicle. 
  • have clear visibility to the rear from all mirrors. 
  • have a two-way radio which allows communication with the overdimensional vehicle, and other escort vehicles involved with the movement, at all times (cellular telephones are not to be used for this communication purpose). 
  • have a cellular telephone for communication with police and other emergency services. If two escort vehicles are required for movement of an overdimensional vehicle or load, one cellular telephone is acceptable. 
  • have a "D" sign on the front and rear of the vehicle or lighted signbox on the vehicle. 


D-signs for escort vehicles must meet the following requirements:

  • 180 cm wide, 30 cm high, 20 cm high Letter Series E font. 
  • White level II reflectance and stop sign red (#712 3M or equivalent). 
  • The sign panel must be fabricated of retro reflective material
  • The "D" sign must not be used when not operating under special move conditions. 


A lighted sign box, if used, must meet the following specifications: 

  • the sign must be upright when in use, and clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle. The sign must be folded flat when not in use or not required, or must be removed from the vehicle. 
  • the box must be 180 centimetres x 35 centimetres x 10 centimetres and must shelter all wire connectors, switches, flashers, etc. 
  • A sufficient number of lamps must be mounted in the box and spaced to give even lighting of the sign background across its full width. 
  • the sign panel must be constructed of white plexi-glass with red bars painted with transparent red paint. The letter "D" must be white in color and must be 20 centimetres high, Series E. 
  • must consist of two 175-millimetre (minimum) amber lights with reflectors, rated at 12.5 volts, 3 amps and 0.50 candela with a rated life of 300 hours. 
  • must consist of 2 standard 203-millimetre revolving or flashing amber lights, with 2 sealed beam units per lamp. 
  • The sign box must be deactivated, removed, or covered when not operating under special move conditions. 


An escort vehicle is required at the rear of the vehicle 

An escort vehicle is required at the rear of the vehicle on 2 lane roads. 

During daytime travel an escort vehicle is required at the front of the vehicle on 2 lane roads.

During daytime travel an escort vehicle is required at the rear of the vehicle on multi-lane highways. 

During daytime travel escort vehicles are required at the front and at the rear of the vehicle on 2 lane roads. 

During nighttime travel an escort vehicle is required at the front of the vehicle on 2 lane roads and at the rear of the vehicle on multilane highways. Sunset and sunrise are as determined by the National Research Council at http://www.nrccnrc.gc.ca/eng/services/hia/sunrise-sunset.html 

During nighttime travel escort vehicles are required at the front and at the rear of the vehicle. Sunset and sunrise are as determined by the National Research Council at http://www.nrccnrc.gc.ca/eng/services/hia/sunrise-sunset.html 


Source of information: https://novascotia.ca/sns/pdf/ans-drivers-smp-bulletin.pdf 


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