Canada: Penalties take effect for distracted driving in Manitoba

Manitobans are reminded that stricter penalties for distracted driving come into force today.

“The growing threat of distracted driving has led our government to take important action,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a release. “Our government is taking serious measures because people are not putting their cellphones down and are engaging in other distracted behaviours while driving.”

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.