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New Distracted Driving Penalties in Place

Manitoba drivers will be hit with the most demerit points in Canada for distracted driving.
Manitoba drivers will be hit with the most demerit points in Canada for distracted driving. Pat Wellenbach / The Associated Press

WINNIPEG – Manitoba drivers will start facing harsher consequences for texting and driving.

The discipline for distracted driving is now five demerit points on their license, up from two, along with the previous $200 fine.

This means drivers in the province will be hit with the most demerit points in Canada for distracted driving.

READ MORE: Manitoba planning new crackdown on distracted and impaired drivingĀ 

Four years ago, Cheryl Derry lost her husband when he was hit by a 23-year-old Winnipeg man who was texting and driving while drunk.

“My husband went to work and two hours later I got a call from the police saying I needed to get to the hospital and the next day my husband was taken off life support,” she said.

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While the man who killed Mark Derry is now serving 26 months behind bars, the Derry family is still feeling the effects of the crash.

READ MORE: Winnipeg man given jail term for killing man while texting, driving drunk

“At the end of this sentence, of the 26 months… behind bars the family can have their loved one come back, I’ve had to deal with not having my loved one come back at all,” said Cheryl’s son Jonathon.

The Derry family is hoping the added demerit points are a step in the right direction, toward stopping a dangerous habit.

“It’s scary as somebody who has lived through the consequences of somebody dying because of somebody else’s actions to drive to and from work and see everybody on their phones,” said Derry.