WINNIPEG - As of November 1st you could be handed a short-term, 3-day, roadside license suspension for using your phone.
Officials with the Province said changes under The Highway Traffic Act and the Drivers and Vehicles Act will allow for short-term roadside licence suspensions for using a cellphone or other hand-operated electronic devices while driving.
“Our government is focused on keeping Manitobans safe, and we are determined to reduce the growing threat posed by distracted driving that adversely affects Manitoba’s citizens and communities,” said Minister Schuler in a press release. “By using the right combination of tools such as public education, legislation and enforcement, we aim to change public perception and make distracted driving as socially unacceptable as impaired driving.”
Drivers will be subject to a three-day roadside licence suspension for the first their offence and a seven-day suspension for a subsequent occurrence within 10 years. Suspended drivers will be required to immediately surrender their driver’s licence at roadside.
The amendments will also require officers charging a driver with careless driving to immediately notify Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to review the driver’s record in order to determine if further penalties may be required. As part of the changes for roadside license suspensions, MPI will collect a $50 licence reinstatement fee on behalf of government.
“These stricter penalties mirror those for impaired driving because the consequences are just as serious,” said Schuler. “This legislation underscores the seriousness of distracted-driving infractions and enacts stricter penalties for this behaviour.”
Further distracted driving penalties will also come into force on Nov. 1 including an increase in the fine for using a hand-operated electronic device while driving to $672 from $203 and an increase in demerits for careless driving to five points from two for each infraction.