Proposed changes to the Highway Traffic Act and the Drivers and Vehicles Act were tabled by the Manitoba government recently, proposing the stiffest penalties of any Canadian province. If passed, effective July 1st, drivers caught using a handheld device will see the same $200 fine, but lose five points.
Manitoba Attorney General Gord Mackintosh said in a statement, “The prevalence of distracted driving on our roads is equally as disturbing as impaired driving. On average, 28 people are killed every year in Manitoba due to distracted driving. This is devastating and senseless because texting or talking while driving is 100 per cent preventable. These changes are intended to encourage drivers to stop using their hand-held cellphones or texting while driving and to focus their attention on the road ahead.”