May 27, 2015


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99% of CAA members still see distracted drivers

'Distracted driving has now overtaken impaired driving as the number one safety concern on our roadways,' says Angèle Young.

MIKE DEAL / FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

'Distracted driving has now overtaken impaired driving as the number one safety concern on our roadways,' says Angèle Young.

You've seen them behind the steering wheel driving on the road, talking into a phone held to their faces or heads bobbing up and down as they try to text and drive.

Tomorrow, July 15, marks the fourth anniversary of the distracted driving ban in Manitoba, but they're still out there.

A CAA Manitoba survey released Monday says 99 per cent of more than 7,000 survey respondents said they still see people talking or texting on their cell phones while driving.

Furthermore, 82.3 per cent said they feel it is unlikely distracted drivers will be caught by police. That's up two per cent from a survey done last year.

"Distracted driving has now overtaken impaired driving as the number one safety concern on our roadways," said Angèle Young, Public and Government Affairs Specialist for CAA Manitoba in a media release."Nearly one quarter of our members do not feel safe on our roads – something clearly needs to change."

People just aren't getting the message.

"Last year, CAA Manitoba and its members were pleased to see demerits added to the penalty distracted drivers," Young stated. "Unfortunately, half of our members surveyed indicated demerits have not helped ease the problem."

The survey also stated that over 40 per cent of those surveyed believe stiffer financial penalties are needed to change behaviour.

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