While most of Canada was celebrating the nation’s birthday yesterday, the province of Manitoba took the opportunity to introduce new, harsher penalties for distracted driving. As of yesterday, the penalty for using a smartphone or other mobile device while driving increased to five demerit points and a $200 fine.
Attorney General Gord Mackintosh said of the increase, “This change sends a clear message to all Manitobans that our government is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. We know that distracted driving is a serious problem in our province that contributes to collisions, fatalities and serious injuries.”
Like most of the provinces, Manitoba has slowly but surely been increasing the penalties for distracted driving. In 2010, the province instituted a $200 fine for those that were caught using a mobile device while driving. Three years later, in 2013, the government added two demerit points to the equation.