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]