Manitoba Driver Receives First 7-Day License Suspension for Distracted Driving

Manitoba launched stiffer distracted driving laws back on November 1, 2018, and now the province has announced the first driver has had their license suspended for seven days.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), a press release states, “a 60-something driver holds the dubious distinction of becoming the first person to receive a seven-day driver licence suspension for using a smartphone while driving.”

The first offence for this driver happened back in November, which triggered an instant three-day license suspension, while the second offence took place earlier this month in Portage la Prairie.

MPI says “nearly 300 drivers” have been suspended since new distracted driving laws kicked into effect last fall. When drivers are caught with a second offence within a 10-year timeframe, a seven-day license suspension occurs.

“Distracted driving can result in a fatal collision,” said Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for communications, Manitoba Public Insurance, in a statement.

According to MPI, in 2017, distracted driving “was a contributing factor in more than 15,000 collisions, while 30 Manitobans lost their lives in distracted-related motor vehicle collisions.”

Distracted driving charges also come with a hefty $672 fine and five demerits on their Driver Safety Rating Scale.

“Thanks to the front-line police officers who are working to keep our roads safe for everyone,” Jatana added. “The combination of law enforcement, education, heightened awareness and drivers changing their behaviour can Save the 100 on our roadways.”