Tougher Penalties for Distracted Driving in Manitoba Take Effect

Tougher Penalties for Distracted Driving in Manitoba Take Effect

Distracted Driving
A woman uses an iPad while behind the wheel of a vehicle stopped in traffic at a red light in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, October 20, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

WINNIPEG — If you choose to text and drive in Manitoba, it will now cost you much more than only a fine.

Beginning today, those caught using a hand-held electronic device behind the wheel will automatically receive a three-day licence suspension. Motorists will also be slapped with a $672 fine — up from a $203 fine previously — and five demerits.

Subsequent offences within a 10-year period will yield a seven-day licence suspension and a similar fine.

Manitoba Public Insurance will also charge a $50 licence reinstatement fee on behalf of the government following the suspension.

“The growing threat of distracted driving has led our government to take important action,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler.

“Our government is taking serious measures because people are not putting their cell phones down and are engaging in other distracted behaviours while driving.”

According to government data, distracted driving was the lead cause of collisions causing serious injury in 2017. Thirty people were killed and 184 people were seriously hurt on Manitoba roads last year because of distracted driving.

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