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Winnipeg police renew warning to public about distracted driving

Police say multiple touches on a mounted cellphone or handheld device while driving is illegal under Manitoba's distracted driving laws. File Photo / Global News

April is Distracted Driving Month, and Winnipeg police are reminding residents about the consequences of their actions behind the wheel.

Traffic specialists say that in Manitoba, roughly 30 people die in collisions involving distracted driving every year.

Manitoba’s tougher distracted driving laws came into effect more than two years ago, making it illegal to use any hand-held device for any reason while on the roadway. This includes calling, texting, emailing, scrolling playlists, checking notifications and adjusting a GPS.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police say speeding and distracted driving continue to be a problem on city roadways' Winnipeg police say speeding and distracted driving continue to be a problem on city roadways
Winnipeg police say speeding and distracted driving continue to be a problem on city roadways – Oct 27, 2019

As well, police say distracted driving also includes operating a cell phone or hand-held device while stopped in traffic and multiple touches on a mounted cellphone or handheld device while driving.

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Anyone caught driving while distracted will receive a three-day licence suspension for the first offence and a seven-day suspension for the second offence. Those convicted will also face a $672 fine and five demerits on their licence.

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

Police are offering safety tips to Winnipeg drivers, including putting your phone away while you are being the wheel and using auto-response features to let people know you’re driving.

They add that if you really have to use your phone in the car, find a safe space to pull over and turn off the vehicle first.

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