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Tougher Legislation Needed on Distracted Driving: CAA

July 11, 2013 9:58 AM | News

Texting - Cell PhoneA survey conducted by CAA Manitoba has found that while support is strong for demerits as an answer to distracted driving, texting and talking behind the wheel isn’t going away.

Through its third annual distracted driving survey, CAA found its members feel that only stronger legislation will curb the problem.

“Since the $199.80 fine was announced on July 15, 2010, we’ve been asking our members if it would be enough to make people put down the phone,” said CAA spokesperson Liz Peters, noting Manitoba was one of the few provinces without demerits from the get-go.

“It clearly wasn’t enough — and more than three quarters of our members agree.”

The province recently announced anyone caught using their mobile device behind the wheel will be assessed two demerit points effective August 1.

More than 8,500 people took CAA’s survey, where 99% of respondents say they still see people talking on their phones while driving. Of those, 91% still notice people texting, while 80% think it is unlikely offenders will be caught by police.