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Winnipeg police crack down on distracted driving, discuss ‘one-touch’ phone operation

Distracted driving: When is ‘one touching’ your phone allowed?
WATCH: Winnipeg Police outline the do's and don'ts when it comes to being on your phone in the driver's seat. Marek Tkach reports.

Manitoba drivers are still not getting the message when it comes to distracted driving.

Over 400 tickets were issued for the offence in Winnipeg alone during the month of April.

READ MORE: More than 400 Winnipeggers dinged for texting and driving in April, say police

“It’s all over the map as far as what people are doing,” said Insp. Gord Spado of the Winnipeg Police Service.

Police have handed out tickets to people with phones in their lap, in their cup holders, on their dashboards, and even wedged behind their steering wheel.

A Winnipeg Police officer with a legally mounted cell phone.
A Winnipeg Police officer with a legally mounted cell phone. Marek Tkach / Global News

The only way to legally use your phone while driving is if it’s properly mounted to your windshield, your dashboard, or one of your vents, Spado said.

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“You’re allowed to touch the phone once to accept a call, once to end a call and once to initiate a call.”

Inspector Gord Spado, of the Winnipeg Police Service’s Traffic Division.
Inspector Gord Spado, of the Winnipeg Police Service’s Traffic Division. Marek Tkach

When it comes to using a GPS app, or a portable GPS device itself, ‘one touching’ is strictly prohibited.

“You want to program your destinations first and then just use it for directions but you cannot touch it for that purpose,” Spado said.

READ MORE: Dramatic distracted driving exhibit promoting safety behind the wheel

As far as listening to music goes, the ‘one-touch’ rule comes back into effect.

“If I have music playing and want to hit next to the next song, that would be a reasonable one-touch operation,” he said.

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But don’t expect to be able to scroll through your playlist searching for a song.

“If I’m doing a series of touches in a short time frame that is now going to be beyond the scope of a one-touch operation.”

Winnipeg Police expect the number of distracted driving tickets to soar above 500 per month in June and July.

WATCH: Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving

Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving
Drive safe tips: Avoiding distracted driving