November 1, 2018 6:25 am
Updated: November 2, 2018 1:20 pm

New distracted driving penalties now in effect in Manitoba

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
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Distracted driving in Manitoba now comes with much tougher penalties. The fine tripled from $203 to a much larger $672, effective Nov. 1.

It also comes with five demerits and a three-day licence suspension.

READ MORE: Texting and driving, Manitoba? Prepare to pay $672 and lose your licence for three days

Traffic Division Inspector Gord Spado says if your phone is mounted on your dash board you can touch it, but only once.

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“You can touch it once to initiate, accept or end a call. That’s it.”

He adds “If you’re tapping it multiple times in a row, we would deem that to be inappropriate use and you would get a ticket for that.”

It’s not illegal for your phone to be sitting on your lap but if you use it – or even look at it – you can be busted.

READ MORE: ‘He could have died’: Manitoba RCMP tweet video of distracted driver

Spado says distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions.

In the last five years he says distracted driving related crashes have more than tripled from 4,700 in 2012 to more than 15,000 in 2017.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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