Manitoba Public Insurance and police partner up for road safety ─ focus on distracted driving

Beginning this month, Manitoba Public Insurance and six police agencies across the province are partnering in a dedicated enforcement project aimed at drivers who continue to use hand-held electronic devices.

“This partnership is the continuation of a similar, highly-successful project staged last November,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president, Community & Corporate Relations, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Our corporation will be providing funding which will allow for additional enforcement to help reduce a very dangerous driving behaviour. Last November’s enforcement campaign resulted in 1,800 Provincial Offence Notices being issued to motorists who were using an electronic device while driving.”

The 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.

“Reducing fatalities on our roadways is accomplished by the proactive combination of education, awareness and law enforcement,” said Kempe. “According to recent polling conducted by our corporation, drivers who use hand-held cell phones is consistently rated as the most serious safety problem in the province.

“Almost nine in 10 Manitobans say 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.

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