Stiffer penalties in Manitoba for distracted driving

by Truck West

WINNIPEG, Man. – If you’re driving and itching to take that call, it’s best to wait, as distracted driving laws will be beefed up in Manitoba as of tomorrow.

Starting Nov. 1, anyone caught using a cellphone will have to surrender their driver’s licence immediately and face a short-term suspension.

First-time offenders could face a three-day roadside licence suspension, with further offenses in the following 10 years resulting in a seven-day suspension. A $50 fee will be required to have any suspended licence reinstated.

Officers will also notify Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) of any driver who is charged with careless driving. MPI will review the driving record of the offender to determine if there will be any additional penalties.

Fines for distracted driving will skyrocket as of Nov. 1, from $203 to $672, with demerit points for careless driving increasing from two to five.

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