Getting caught texting and driving will cost you a lot more in Manitoba starting Aug. 1.
Manitoba’s Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced plans to hit drivers with demerits if they’re caught texting and driving.
Under the new rules, Manitoba Public Insurance will work with the Winnipeg Police Service to issue two demerits to any driver ticketed for distracted driving. The offense will also come with a $200 fine.
Distracted driving previously only came with the $200 fine. Now, with the addition of demerits, drivers will have to pay more for their insurance and their license if they’re ticketed.
Provincial officials said a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-texting driver.
MPI launched an anti-distracted driving campaign earlier this year and lobbied for demerits to be added to existing penalties for distracted driving.
Since 2005, MPI said there have been 160 deaths on Manitoba roads linked to distracted driving. That’s about 20 per year.