Canadians to distracted drivers: Enough

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Manitoba has joined Ontario in stiffening its fines for distracted drivers. Both provinces have punishments that rank among the toughest in North America. The Manitoba government on June 4 unveiled a new 5-demerit penalty vs. the driver's license. The existing $200 fine remains the same. Distracted drivers previously faced a 2-demerit assessment. The new penalty goes into effect July 1. "This is the highest level of demerit points in Canada for the use of a handheld device," said Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh, left. All Canadian provinces use demerits to punish distracted … [Read more...]

U.K. mobile seizure stories bogus

on way to london traffic accident

U.K. drivers were startled by local reports that police would be inspecting mobile phones of all those involved in crashes, seeking evidence of distracted driving. Despite the Big Brother creepiness, the story wasn't entirely outlandish, given that the transportation secretary recently called the toll from texting and handheld mobile use "absolutely appalling" -- and vowed to look into doubling the demerit points vs. violators. Yet, despite the reports in several daily newspapers, including the Daily Mail, it wasn't true. Suzette Davenport, who heads the Association of Chief Police … [Read more...]

Irish texting & driving tab: $1,400

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Those who text and drive in Ireland are out of luck. They're now facing some of the planet's toughest distracted driving penalties, with fines for first offenses topping out at 1,000 Euros -- about $1,400. The penalties, which took effect May 1, increase to a maximum €2,000 for a second offense. Three-time offenders are looking at €3,000 and a possible three months in jail (offenses within a year). Offenders will have to show up in court, instead of taking roadside penalty points. The changes also apply to those "accessing information" (Web sites) via smartphones. The new fines do not … [Read more...]

Ontario plan: $1,000 plus points

Transportation minister Glen Murray of Ontario

The Ontario government followed through with plans to crack down on distracted drivers, proposing maximum fines of $1,000 and three points vs. offenders' licenses. Transportation Minister Glen Murray, left, introduced the "Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe Act" on March 17. The increased penalties for handheld cell phone use and texting had been sought by safety advocates and law enforcement: "Everyone's been saying you've got to put (distracted driving) in the same range as drinking and driving," the minister said. The distracted driving changes were anticipated, and followed action by the … [Read more...]

Manitoba: Distracted driving news

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Manitoba will slam distracted drivers with 5 demerit points vs. their licenses come July 1, 2015. The fine remains $200. "This is the highest level of demerit points in Canada for the use of a handheld device," Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh said. The points mean license renewal fees ranging from about $540 to $3,200. The current 2 demerit point penalty was seen as not effective, officials said. In 2014, 5,200 people were convicted of distracted driving in Manitoba. Mackintosh said "28 Manitobans are killed every year by a distracted driver." The automatic licence suspension for drunken … [Read more...]