Manitobans are reminded that stricter penalties for distracted driving come into force tomorrow, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler and Crown Services Colleen Mayer said today.
- Drivers will be subject to a three-day roadside licence suspension for the first time a driver is caught using a cellphone or other hand-operated electronic device and a seven-day suspension for a subsequent occurrence within 10 years.
- Suspended drivers will be required to immediately surrender their driver’s licence at roadside. As part of the changes for roadside licence suspensions, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will collect a $50 licence reinstatement fee on behalf of the provincial government.
- Officers charging a driver with careless driving will immediately notify MPI to review the driver’s record to determine if further penalties may be required.
- Further penalties also take effect tomorrow with fines for using a hand-operated electronic device while driving increasing to $672 from $203 and demerits for careless driving increasing to five points from two for each infraction.
“The growing threat of distracted driving has led our government to take important action,” said Schuler. “Our government is taking serious measures because people are not putting their cellphones down and are engaging in other distracted behaviours while driving.”
“Stricter penalties are in line with impaired driving because the consequences are just as serious. Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is dangerous,” Schuler added. “In 2017, 30 people lost their lives and 184 people were seriously hurt. That is unacceptable.”