April distracted driving enforcement campaign successful ─ Manitoba Public Insurance

Nearly 1,500 tickets have been issued thus far this month to Manitoba drivers who were observed using an electronic hand-held device.

The month-long dedicated enforcement project ─ funded by Manitoba Public Insurance ─ is being conducted by six police agencies across the province.

“Distracted driving is extremely dangerous driver behaviour,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president, Community & Corporate Relations, Manitoba Public Insurance. “The numbers clearly show that some drivers continue to break the law and place innocent motorists at risk.

“Reducing fatalities on our roadways is accomplished by the proactive combination of education, awareness and law enforcement. It’s against the law to use an electronic hand-held device while driving and a recent poll by our corporation reflected Manitobans’ concerns.

“Almost nine in 10 Manitobans reported that cell phone use while driving is a serious problem.”

About 25 road deaths each year in Manitoba are attributed to distracted driving, according to Manitoba Public Insurance claims data, beginning in 2005. The penalty for using a hand-held electronic device while driving is a $200 ticket in addition to two demerits.

Last November, Manitoba Public Insurance provided funding for a similar enforcement initiative, resulting in 1,800 Provincial Offence Notices being issued to motorists who were observed using a hand-held electronic device while driving.

This month’s enforcement campaign is a joint initiative between Manitoba Public Insurance and the RCMP, Winnipeg Police Service and Brandon Police Service, as well as police agencies in Winkler, Morden and Rivers.

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