Distracted Driving in Manitoba Will Now Lead to Automatic Licence Suspension [u]


The Government of Manitoba has introduced new legislation that will cause distracted drivers to automatically have their licence suspended.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler introduced the new legislation on Friday. If a driver is caught distracted driving for the first time, they will automatically receive a three-day suspension. If they are caught for a second time, the suspension duration increases to seven days.

Between 2011 and 2016 the province went from 2,415 accidents to 11,086 accidents caused by distracted driving. In a statement, Schuler said:

“We have a problem. And we want to be very clear that as a government, we take distracted driving as serious as drinking and driving.

It’s not just young people. It’s everybody, our generation included.”

Schuler also hinted that penalties may also be increased under the new proposed law. Currently, a distracted driving ticket in Manitoba comes with a $200 fines and five demerit points. The country’s toughest penalty right now is in Prince Edward Island, which has a maximum fine of $1,200 and five demerit points.

Update March 20: Revised legislation will now allow drivers caught with distracted driving 24-48 hours to drive home.

[via CBC News]


  • Alexis T

    NICE. Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $200. Go straight to jail. Or at least get an on the spot suspension. Can’t wait for ON to implement this, the sooner we get rid of these asshats, the better!

  • Olley

    please bring this to BC!!!!

  • xxxJDxxx

    This is madness. People are going to lose they jobs.

  • sully54

    This is great. I want to see this country-wide.

  • Olley

    good. they f**king deserve it.

  • Tony

    honestly this is ridiculous, everyone has looked at their phone or used it at one point and if you say you havent then you’re a LIAR… waiting for someone to comment on my comment. this is taken way over proportion. Its the same as speeding everyone does it and more or less gets caught. Do you your radio while driving? do you touch your steering wheel? do you read your dashboard, well thats all electronic. All this stuff is BS and a money grab to be honest. i have never been pulled over or caught doing anything clean for 10 years and i am not the cleanest driver to be fair. i have never hurt anyone and do not think bringing this law will justify anything but deep pockets for the city.

  • floydstyle

    I’d like the same legislation in Quebec. Great idea since distracted driver is now causing more accidnet than alcohol now..

  • Wayne

    I appreciate your honesty about not being the cleanest driver. The problem they are battling, however, is the general behaviour exhibited in your very post. Many drivers, including yourself, develop a confidence behind the wheel which makes them oblivious and unwilling to admit their mistakes. They may even downplay their mistakes. All it takes is one bad call (and everyone is prone to this) and you can change your life and someone else’s forever.

  • The Left Wing

    Thank goodness for the progressive liberals. This will save many many lives and help all of society. The stupid CONservitives prefered that we all Darwin ourselves and suffer. Thank you Justin for destroying the alt right and tirelessly trying to save us.

  • Mike

    Not all people are as talented as you are sir. Here’s hoping you don’t get rear ended in the near future.

  • Does drunk driving lead to the same sentence?

  • Guest

    This summer we’re getting it, it’s just not at roadside, it’ll be upon conviction in court. So you get the ticket take it to court and fight it. If you lose, you’re licence is suspended. 3,7,90 day suspensions.

  • Jim Hadfield

    GOOD.. !! And impound vehicle for same time period !!

  • Dominic

    Lol a lot more political than I was expecting XD I guess leftist trolls are now gaining traction.

  • xxxJDxxx

    You people are insane.

  • Edward Quinn

    I’m all for this. With a caveat. What defines “distracted driving”? If it means using a hand to hold the phone to your head to make a call, fine. If it means holding the phone in your hand to check texts, fine. But I sure hope that I can change a podcast station, while my phone is secured in the dash mount, without incurring a “distracted driving” charge. I’ve yet to read the definition.

  • Dominic

    So, I’m 24, and my generation is sure made fun of for our lovely addiction to our smartphones. And who can blame us as the devices were meant to seize our attention ; it has made me very conscientious about my usage. And more frequently I leave my phone and bring my iPod Classic to feel removed from the unnecessary. I can say that the few times I bring my phone in my car I have occasionally picked up a phone call or checked a text as it « seemed » important even though it wasn’t or it could have waited. It’s really how you frame your mind ; some vehicles have programming that assists (supposedly) in curbing distraction and if not, if you have an emergency or issue — pull over ! I can say that being a pedestrian travelling in Boston I would frequently see people holding their phones behind the wheel ; hell some had it against their ear ; Toronto doesn’t seem that far off. I had to very aggressively step in the crosswalk to be able to get across the street and pray that I live. So I am not perfect but this is an extremely hazardous problem and even though it is severe it will get people’s attention. I feel that more than anything we need to be honest about our addictions and maybe think about getting an app like Moment to track our daily usage or maybe check some videos on playing with notification settings and other parameters that seek our attention obnoxiously.

  • The Left Wing

    Happy Birthday.

  • dc

    I don’t think it is fair calling people LIAR’s as many sensible folk, particularly in older generations would never use a phone while driving. I for one, teach secondary school students about the risk factors and absolutely never and I reaffirm NEVER even touch or look at my phone…frankly, I hate the damn things and only keep it for emergency use. It is sad seeing so many cellphone addicted people everywhere….I refuse to join that crew and agree with even more severe actions than what currently exists. Unfortunately, I was recently rear ended by someone looking at his phone….I’ve been accident free for over 40 years, with no speeding tickets, infractions, etc., so am perturbed being categorized in your sweeping statement. I should mention, I’m not a slow, hyper cautious driver….but am highly vigilant and focused behind the wheel.
    You do make a good point regarding other distractions though and in general the public would benefit from truly focusing on driving….it should be ones primary activity behind the wheel.

  • Shawn

    No lie, I have never looked at my phone while driving. It is always in my pocket.

  • Dominic

    I’m sorry you’ve had an unfortunate incident and I hope you weren’t injured. I think one thing to keep in mind too is that these distractions are also the cause of big companies like many social networks, search engines, « free » games etc… They all have the same thing in common which is to grab our attention and unfortunately it is comparable to how VLT’s cause addictions in other people. So really I don’t think looking at it in a judging way is the solution but rather realise that these people need help. If we treated cellphone addicts like alcoholics or gamblers imagine how different things would be.

  • DK

    Last year I drove out of my bank parking lot into an Ave. and glanced at an incoming text. Second street I exited and pulled over. A few seconds went by and without looking up I waived on a vehicle next to me, thinking they were waiting for me to move. To my surprise ;as I sent my text….. looking up next to me was a constable giving me a thumbs up. They had me.
    I guess my thoughts now… with that same Scenario today I would get that fine , demerits and suspension, only because of the newest enforcement.

  • Gord Robertson

    Penalties don’t go far enough, Should be an automatic $1000.00 fine & 1 month suspension for first offence, 2nd offence $3000 fine & 3 month suspension, 3rd offence $5000 and six month suspension of each conviction comes with 5 demerrits

  • Olley

    how this is insane? you’re saying people shouldn’t lose jobs by highly likely killing someone on the road? if you value your occupation, put away the phone for a f**king second while you drive. plain simple.

  • Lesa Lal

    My sister’s daughter in law lost 1/2 of her wedding party because of an idiot who thought it was ok to text and drive. Just one of many horrendous accidents I have personally encountered because idiots think it’s harmless. I will take a person who is over the influence behind the wheel any day over this. The punishment should be at least equal.

  • Just Say No

    Wow! A perfect person who can do everything he wants with no regard for the lives he will destroy and ruin because he is too stupid to use his brain.

  • xxxJDxxx is a nut

    Because their jobs are more important than the people they kill? How stupid!

  • dude

    its easy for Baby boomer to say or do you are not brought up into the new world.

  • mike arnott

    Wow. Lots of hate in these comments. Did you know an animal in your car is distracted drivin. All the guy I’d saying is everyone has done it. If you move your mirror to see better at a stop sign it is distracted drivin. Stop hating someone for having his own opinion

  • Gord Robertson

    How ridiculous is that comment – I have used cell phones since they came out, I have seen the damage from distracted driving. Use your “new world” big brain and put the damn phone down!

  • Theo Enns

    FYI. Manitoba, provincially has conservative government.

  • BeaveVillage

    Distracted driving… what a stupid term for cellphone use in the vehicle–just call it what it is.

    Cell Phone use in the Vehicle while Driving.

    Otherwise Distracted Driving can refer to every. single. distraction. while. driving. including:

    1) Kids in the vehicle
    2) Pets in the vehicle
    3) Advertisements on Billboards
    4) Graffiti on Signposts
    5) Signposts in terrible locations
    6) Signposts behind trees
    7) Drinking water
    8) Eating food
    9) Combing hair
    10) Brushing teeth
    11) Shaving
    12) Adjusting the radio
    13) Adjusting the GPS
    14) etc.

  • James Furedi

    you missed one…seeing a beautiful woman walking on the sidewalk

  • angie

    they should pull over to the side of the rd then call the person back and when the call has ended then drive safety or shut the phone off and let the answering machine get your calls while you are driving

  • Chronic Bear

    You’re a fucking clown and you deserve to lose your licence if you think this is ok behavior. You don’t deserve the Honda Civic you probably drive. Don’t worry, if I pass your whip all smashed into a telephone pole I’ll still stop to help, but I’ll pull over before I dial 911

  • Robin Mondor

    I wonder what the stats were prior to making this illegal?
    Now most drivers hide their phones or look down thus causing them to look down instead of having their head and hands up.
    Just saying 😀

  • Times Up

    That comment is unacceptable in this day and age. Harassment must end. Trudaue will stop it. #metoo

  • James Furedi

    It’s true
    Your toooo sensitive lol
    Want a tissue ?

  • Mich


  • Darrell Penner

    Include the people that drive with pets running about in their vehicle or hanging out a window or drivers with them on their laps too. This is a distraction even moreso. Let’s stop drinking coffee and eating food while driving. These people do not have full control of their vehicle. I have been hit 11 times and I have not been at fault in any iof the accidents!

  • Sharon Swan

    there should be a 3rd time .. of PERMANENTLY SUSPENDED … if you want it back you will need to go through a driver training program .. and start all over … and NOT another fine and suspension .. and if happens a 2nd time after going through training period .. 3rd time . .PERMANENTLY SUSPENDED AND NO CHANCE OF GETTING DRIVER LICENCE AGAIN ..

  • Lee James

    Yes, and then some. For impaired driving, driving over 80 or refusal to provide breath sample it’s 1 year mandatory court ordered license suspension, minimum $1000 dollar fine, 5 demerits, a whole whack of insurance and registration consequences and a criminal record. This is the least you can get for a first offence. It’s usually more.

  • Lee James

    This is provincial legislation, not federal. It’s more a of a “tough on crime” conservative approach implemented by the current Conservative government.

  • Riddlemethis

    And they can drive drunk or speed race without losing their license? Makes perfect sense!

  • Riddlemethis

    Yup…so many near misses…pun not intended. lol

  • Riddlemethis

    what’s unacceptable is your attitude. lighten up.

    the #metoo movement tends to focus mostly on females and sexual harassment. not bullying and other forms of harassment affecting everyone.

  • Riddlemethis

    that will be an environmental waste. lol


  • Riddlemethis

    fumbling around to get your glasses, talking to your passengers, or whatever. numerous examples of distracted driving, but the one that gets the most attention is cellular phone use because it’s the easiest to enforce and quickest cash cow..

  • Cserebogar

    You can suspend the licenses all you want but I’ll tell you 95% will drive anyhow even if they suspend their licenses.

  • Adam Parks

    It does apply to anything. In Alberta issuing a CB radio can get you charged. Ontario eating will. BC if your mind is preoccupied and you miss a scale entrance.

  • STORY UPDATE: You’ll get to drive home after getting caught with distracted driving

  • Sam

    a recent RCMP tweet defines distracted driving as “adjusting the radio or volume, using the car’s built in GPS, having a drink in the cupholder (not even sipping it) or talking to people in the car” ???

  • Kael

    I would like to put in a little perspective. I agree with you that they are all electronic but its the time/attention they take away from driving that is the issue. A speedometer is needed, its not an option. You need to know how fast you are going. That is why they are designed to be large and very easy to read so you can just glance at them.
    Have you ever been at a light and everyone around has left except for the driver in front on you. They are distracted. Have you ever said. What are they doing…
    A) looking at the speedometer.
    B) changing radio stations.

    C) playing with steering wheel controls
    D) using a cellphone.
    If you have seen A,B,or C. Then I totally agree with your assumptions. If its D I hope you can see how much more of your attention a phone takes away from driving and why its so dangerous.

  • Kenny Kidd

    You know that says “Pound Me Too” not getting any..

  • toysandme

    SJW much? Get hold of Dr Jordan Peterson please.

  • Peter Galaxy1

    right on Mike. anyone who thinks they’re a superb driver cos they never look at their phone is a fool. being a distracted driver can be as simple as being deep in thought about some issue. it doesn’t have to involve a phone or anything physical. people who think they are perfect cos they never speed are in the same boat. being one km over the limit is no more dangerous than being one km/h under the limit.

  • Peter Galaxy1

    LOL sure and there is no boss in the world who would get P O if you kept doing that every time they were on your back for a delivery. dream on!

  • Peter Galaxy1

    it is so stupid to be using a phone while driving, but nowhere near as stupid as inflicting blanket rules and massive fines. people need to be educated and rewarded for good behaviour – not inflicted with vicious penalties, they mean nothing to a huge proportion of the population.

  • Peter Galaxy1

    In a truck road test in Australia you will fail if you adjust your mirror or window or radio while driving… the most important skill to learn is to adjust things without looking, which is getting harder to do with idiotic touch screens in cars. they force you to take your eyes off the road, as opposed to older cars with knobs n dials and levers that anyone can soon memorise and adjust without taking their eyes off the road. should be huge fines for car designers and builders, not the drivers in this case.

  • howard yanke

    maybe they should have a law that both hands should be on the wheel so you have full controll of vehicle

  • howard yanke

    use common sense i shut off my phone and check for messages when i pull over for a break it sure would suck if you killed some one and have to live with that the rest of your life

  • Mike Brunning

    folks drive all the time under suspension , I suggest the same for drunk drivers , crush the car right in front of them , after a speedy court appearance of course. Drop the cube where they live , so all know . Then the city can cite them for garbage and they can pay more