Manitoba Public Insurance and police partner up for road safety

Manitoba Public Insurance and eight police agencies across the province are partnering in a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) aimed at drivers who continue to use hand-held electronic devices.

The enforcement campaign ─ which begins immediately ─ is a joint initiative between Manitoba Public Insurance, the RCMP and police services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Winkler, Morden, Rivers, Altona and Dakota Ojibway.

“These dedicated, enforcement projects send a powerful message to drivers that high-risk behavior while driving is not acceptable or tolerated,” said James Allum, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Everyone is entitled to safety on our roadways. Our police partners will be doing their part to ensure this occurs and the Manitoba government will continue to focus on education and enforcement efforts designed to make our roads safer.”

Three previous initiatives resulted in more than 5,000 distracted driving Provincial Offence Notices being issued to motorists who were observed using a hand-held electronic device while driving.

“The success of previous STEPs reinforces the importance of continuing these enforcement campaigns, which specifically target drivers who continue to use hand-held electronic devices,” said Ward Keith, interim Vice President, Business Development and Communications and Chief Product Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Our corporation has provided funding which will allow for additional enforcement to help reduce a very dangerous driving behaviour. Preventing fatalities on our roadways is accomplished by the proactive combination of education, awareness and law enforcement. Statistics show that, while there is still plenty of work to be done, positive steps continue to be made.”

Distracted driving remains a concern for all road safety authorities. On average, one in four road deaths in Manitoba are attributed to distracted driving.

The illegal use of hand-held electronic devices while driving is dangerous and completely unacceptable at all times, said Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis, who is also president of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP).

“The MACP is pleased to be partnering with Manitoba Public Insurance to reduce the number of collisions and deaths caused by distracted drivers,” said Clunis. “Front-line officers will be sending the strong message that distracted driving is not acceptable.”

Drivers caught using a hand-operated electronic device (including cell phones) will receive a $200 ticket, in addition to moving down two levels on their Driver Safety Rating.

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