Speeding is one of the most reported factors associated with crashes. While many people consider speeding to be driving above the speed limit, it also applies when you drive too fast for weather, road or traffic conditions. The higher the speed, the longer the stopping distance, the less control you have of your vehicle and the greater the impact of a crash.

Speed kills. Each year in Manitoba, an average of 23 people are killed because of speeding.

How speed limits are determined

Speed limits are designed to reduce risk and are determined by a variety of factors – traffic, pedestrian volume and road design. When they are set, they assume that road and weather conditions are ideal. That means in poor conditions such as icy roads or low visibility, the posted speed limit is too fast.
Watch: 60 Second Driver – Default Speed Limits

Reduced limits in school zones

Keep an eye out for that school zone sign. When driving in a school zone, the speed limit will be significantly lower than the default speed limit. Learn all about school-zone driving here.

Reduced limits in construction zones

Speed limits are lower in designated construction zones, whether or not workers are present, and the fine for speeding is double the cost of a regular ticket.
Watch: 60 Second Driver – Construction Zones

Watch for construction workers. The flag-person helps control traffic flow in their area, so pay attention to their signals.

Slowing down for emergency vehicles

Under the Highway Traffic Act, drivers passing by a roadside emergency vehicle must move to the farthest lane from the scene whenever possible. Drivers also are required to slow down to:

  • 40 km/h when the posted speed limit is below 79 km/h,
  • 60 km/h when the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or higher.

Watch: 60 Second Driver – Passing Emergency Vehicles

Speed, weather conditions and other risk factors

For the majority of the year, Manitoba drivers are often faced with the challenge of conditions that are less than ideal. From blowing snow to down pours, to icy streets, gravel roads and curving highways, sometimes slowing down well below the speed limit is a must.


Weather can affect road conditions and your field of vision, requiring more time and distance for you to stop.
Watch: 60 Second Driver – Winter Conditions

Road Surface

Be mindful of if you are driving on pavement, ice or gravel. Different road surfaces will change the time and distance needed to stop.
Watch: 60 Second Driver – Gravel Roads

Road Design

Curving roads and highways require extra care in steering and control. Slow down to the recommended speed or lower, considering the road and weather conditions.


In addition to threatening the safety of all road users, speeding can also threaten your wallet. Manitoba has some of the highest speeding fines in North America.

Fines for travelling 10 km/h over the posted speed limit start at $181.50. If given a ticket by law enforcement, the fine will effect your Driver Safety Rating (DSR) and the price you pay for your licence and insurance (if you’re caught for speeding by a photo enforcement camera, your driver’s licence and insurance premiums will not be affected). In designated construction zones, the set fine for speeding will be doubled, even if there are no workers present.

Drive baked, get burnt.

Cannabis affects your concentration and reaction time. If you’re going to enjoy a cannabis product – don’t get behind the wheel.

Driving high is a crime.

Using cannabis and alcohol together enhances the effects of each. Side effects such as slowed reaction time, loss of coordination, and impaired decision-making skills are intensified.

Drugs come in many forms and have a wide range of possible side effects that may impair your ability to drive and increase the likelihood of a collision.

Driving while impaired by drugs, including prescription and non-prescription medications, is illegal in Canada.

Drivers found guilty of drug-impaired driving face the same penalties as those convicted of alcohol-impaired driving.


Cannabis use compromises reaction time and the ability to make safe decisions on the road. While cannabis is now legal to use in Canada, it is illegal to drive if you’re impaired by THC. It’s also illegal to:

  • Consume cannabis in or on a vehicle while on a public roadway, whether the vehicle is in motion or not.
  • Transport cannabis in or on a vehicle, unless stored in a secure compartment such as your vehicle’s trunk.

Drivers convicted of these offences will move down on the DSR scale. Please use responsibly. Learn more about the dangers of driving after using cannabis.

Prescription drugs

It’s important to understand how your prescribed medications affect your ability to drive. If you drive while impaired by prescribed medication, you can be charged with impaired driving. Discuss the possible effects of any medication with your doctor or pharmacist. Learn more.

Illegal drugs

Illicit drugs are harmful and dangerous. They may cause hallucinations, hostility and aggressiveness in addition to dulling normal thought processes and impairing motor skills. If you are found to be driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, you will be charged with impaired driving and may face other severe consequences. Learn more about the effects of drugs.

Mixing drugs and alcohol

It’s important to note that combining drugs and alcohol can amplify the effect of each substance, even in small quantities. If you mix drugs with alcohol, do not drive.

The penalties of driving high

In the eyes of the law, drug-impaired driving is the same criminal offence as alcohol-impaired driving. In Manitoba, all drivers suspected by police of being under the influence of any drug can receive an immediate 24-hour roadside licence suspension.

If you fail a drug recognition evaluation, you are subject to an immediate Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension, which ranges from 72 hours to 60 days. You can face more severe penalties, depending on the amount of drugs in your system. See more information on the penalties you can face for driving under the influence of drugs.

If you take any drugs, including cannabis or prescription medication, don’t drive. Plan ahead to get home safely. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please visit the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba website.

Studies and additional information

Drug Impaired Driving Learning Centre

The Drug Impaired Driving Resource Centre is a web-based educational resource developed by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation to support the work of governments and road safety partners by sharing current knowledge about research and practice, and increasing awareness about drug-impaired driving.

Road Safety Monitor – Drugged Driving

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) provides evidence-based knowledge that leads to smarter policies in preventing injuries and loss of life on roads and highways worldwide.

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction – Health and Public Safety

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) was created by Parliament to provide national leadership to address substance use in Canada.

Drug Free Kids Canada

Educating parents and youth about substance use.

The province of Manitoba produces a unique crop of drivers.

This animal is near the road.

Manitoba Drivers are resilient! They have learned to adapt to all sorts of driving conditions. Through extreme heat, blizzards, and everything in between, drivers in our province know how to adapt.

One of the biggest threats to the Manitoba Driver is distracted driving.

Text messages! Sandwiches! Entertaining the kids!

When you’re behind the wheel, don’t let distraction happen to you. Being distracted while driving, even just for two seconds, is all it takes to cause a fatal crash.

Outsmart distraction. Focus on the road.

On average, one in three deaths on Manitoba roads involves a distracted driver.

The most dangerous (and preventable) behaviour is using a hand-held electronic device while behind the wheel.

Save a Manitoba Driver from suspensions, fines and collisions.

If you’re a passenger and your driver is talking, texting or scrolling on their phone, tell them to put it down.

In Manitoba, it is illegal to be use a hand-held electronic device while driving. You’ll be saving your Manitoba Driver from a hefty $672 fine and possible suspension – and you’ll also greatly reduce the risk of being in a crash.

More on suspension and fines

Does your Manitoba Driver need more convincing? You can learn more about distracted driving suspensions and penalties here.

If you are having trouble keeping your eyes open behind the wheel, you are too tired to be driving.

In fact, driving while sleepy or fatigued has the potential to be extremely dangerous. While fatigue-related collisions appear to be a rare event on Manitoba roads (possibly due to drivers being reluctant to claim fatigue as a factor), the collisions that have been recorded are typically serious ones. This is because drowsy drivers tend to be driving at higher speeds and often don’t make corrective adjustments to avoid the crash.

Just the facts

  • On average, one person is killed and five are seriously injured in fatigue-related crashes every year in Manitoba.
  • The peak time for fatigue-related collisions is between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. (37 per cent). Other peak times are between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (24 per cent), and the hour between 11 p.m. and midnight (6 per cent).
  • The vast majority – 92 per cent – of fatigue-related collisions occur between intersections.

Are you too tired to be driving?

Here are some signs to watch for:

  • can’t stop yawning
  • trouble keeping your eyes open
  • can’t remember the last few kilometres you’ve driven
  • drifting within your lane
  • unable to concentrate

If you have one of these symptoms, it’s best to get off the road and to find a safe rest area to take a nap.

Driving any vehicle while impaired by alcohol is not only extremely dangerous – it’s a crime. Manitoba takes a strong stance against drinking and driving with some of the toughest penalties in the country. You could be fined and possibly jailed. You could lose your licence and your vehicle. You could lose your job or be critically hurt. If you are in an accident, your insurance coverage can be denied. Worse still, you could lose your life or take the life of someone else.

Drinking and driving laws

Impaired driving is a serious threat to public safety with significant sanctions and consequences.

Immediate roadside prohibition

As of Dec. 16, 2019, The Highway Traffic Act is amended to adopt an immediate roadside prohibition approach to deal with persons driving under the influence of alcohol. This new approach and tough new sanctions take effect right at roadside, based upon the results of an approved screening device (ASD).

Register a “warn” – Blood alcohol concentration between .05 and .079

If you register a “warn” on an ASD, you will face a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension ranging from 72 hours to 60 days, depending on how many previous suspensions have been issued within a 10-year period. You will also move five levels down the Driver Safety Rating scale and be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge.

In addition, you will face new enhanced roadside sanctions, including:

  • an administrative penalty of at least $400
  • vehicle impoundment on a first offence

Sanctions increase with subsequent offences. Drivers receiving two or more suspensions within a 10-year period are also required to complete an Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba at their own expense.

Refuse or fail

If you refuse to provide a breath sample or register a “fail” on an ASD, you will face a three-month Administrative Licence Suspension, mandatory ignition interlock participation, vehicle impoundment, movement of 10 levels down the Driver Safety Rating scale, and a driver’s licence reinstatement charge. In addition, you could face new enhanced roadside sanctions, including an administrative penalty of $700.

See more information about immediate roadside prohibitions from the Province of Manitoba.

Blood alcohol concentration equal to or over .08

If you are found to be driving over the legal limit by the results of a breathalyzer, you will receive an immediate three-month Administrative Licence Suspension. You will also be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge. Additional consequences include:

  • potential charges under the Criminal Code of Canada
  • vehicle impoundment
  • a mandatory Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba at your expense
  • participation in Manitoba’s Ignition Interlock Program
  • moving down the Driver Safety Rating scale

To find out more, see information about penalties or visit the Province of Manitoba website.

NOTE: Manitoba’s tough impaired driving laws apply when operating all motor vehicles. This includes infrastructure equipment, agricultural equipment and off-road vehicles, as well as vessels (i.e., boats and hovercraft), aircraft and railway equipment.

If you drink, don’t drive

Alcohol is a drug that is quickly absorbed into the body and significantly affects the central nervous system. Alcohol slows reaction time, distorts vision and impairs judgment. As more alcohol is consumed, a person’s ability to recognize potential problems and respond to hazards is significantly impaired. The best way to rid the body of the effects of alcohol is to wait it out. Drinking coffee, taking showers or getting fresh air does not reduce a person’s blood alcohol concentration. There is no magic number of drinks guaranteed to keep you safe or out of trouble behind the wheel, except zero. If you drink, just don’t drive.

From calling a cab to staying the night, if you know you’ll be drinking, you have options to get yourself home safely without driving impaired.

Just the facts (Source: 2017 Traffic Collisions Statistics Report)

  • In 2017, drinking and driving contributed to 23 fatalities and 27 serious injuries in Manitoba.
  • On average, 25 people are killed each year and 27 are seriously injured in collisions involving drinking and driving.
  • More than half of all collisions involving alcohol impairment occur on weekends.

Programs and initiatives

Manitoba Public Insurance is dedicated to safer roads for all Manitobans. Through a variety of partnerships, we’ve developed programs and initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving.


Operation Red Nose

Safe Grad

Teens Against Drinking and Driving

Report Impaired Drivers (RID) 911

Friends for Life Speaker Series

P.A.R.T.Y Program

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