Starting tomorrow (November 1, 2018), Manitoba will be cracking down on distracted driving using new and more severe distracted driving laws and penalties. Currently in Manitoba, the fine for distracted driving is $203. However, this fine will increase to $672 beginning tomorrow.
In addition to increased fines, Manitoba has also added a mandatory three day licence suspension, a loss of five merits on Manitoba Public Insurance’s “Driver Safety Rating” scale and a $50 licence reinstatement fee if you’re found driving distractedly in the province.
These much stricter penalties are a direct response to the national and international distracted driving crisis. According to CAA, distracted driving accounts for nearly four million motor vehicle crashes across North America per year, and of all the crashes that occur, approximately 80% of them involve some form of driver inattention. If these number sound too large or broad, in a recent Global News article, they crunched the numbers and found that in Manitoba alone, over 200 people are either seriously injured or killed by distracted driving annually, a number which accounts for only a small proportion of the over 15,000 (per annum) Manitoba distracted driving crashes.
Although these new penalties may sound stiff, it’s unlikely that they’ll be reduced any time soon. With other provinces, including Saskatchewan, eyeing Manitoba’s new distracted driving laws, it’s possible that other provinces may soon follow Manitoba’s suit to increase public safety by deterring dangerous driving using stiffer penalties.
So, the next time you’re driving in or through Manitoba, be sure to drive safely and without distraction!
If you’d like to learn more about Manitoba’s new distracted driving laws, you can read more about them in an informative CBC article by clicking here.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC Rights Watch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.