Road Safety

The costs of distracted driving

The financial cost

In Manitoba it’s illegal to use hand-operated electronic devices, such as cellphones, smartphones and tablets, while driving.

Drivers caught violating this law receive three-day licence suspension for a first offence and a seven-day suspension for subsequent offences. Upon conviction, they also receive a $672 fine and move five levels down the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale.

If other distractions cause you to violate traffic laws or end up in a collision, you can be charged with a number of offences, including driving imprudently, careless driving or dangerous driving. These can result in fines, demerits and other driving interventions. You can also be charged with whatever offence the distraction caused you to commit, such as failing to obey a traffic signal. Fines and moving down the DSR scale also apply to these offences.

The human cost

The costs of distracted driving can involve more than money. There also can be a devastating human cost:

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