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Canada Road Safety Week kicks off May 13

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Drivers are being encouraged to take a close look at their own driving behaviour heading into Canada Road Safety Week on May 13-20.

A Manitoba Public Insurance official said there has been a 7.8 increase this year in collision claims over last year.

"There were 161,466 collision claims reported last year compared to 149,764 in 2011," MaryAnn Kempe, MPI vice-president of community and corporate relations, said in a media release. "Many of these collisions were directly related to drinking and driving, speeding, aggressive driving and distracted driving -- all behaviours which can be easily changed."

During the May 13-20 Road Safety Week, there will be increased law enforcement present on Manitoba roadways to help drivers get the message.

In the release, Kempe stated that about 100 people are killed annually on Manitoba roadways with about 25 of those deaths resulting from distracted driving.

"This increase in collision claims has both a human and economic cost," Kempe said in the release. "It’s estimated that collision costs will be more than $330 million in 2012/13, an 11.5 per cent increase from 2011-12. High-risk driving affects people's lives and auto insurance premiums."

Kempe said it is a good time to remind drivers to focus on safe driving practices as many Manitobans will be travelling during the first long weekend of the summer on May 18-20.

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