As the first anniversary of Manitoba’s ban on talking on cell phones and texting while driving comes up on July 15, members of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) are saying not much has changed.
Of 11,000 survey respondents, 99.4 per cent said they still see motorists talking and texting. And almost 70 per cent don’t think these people will be caught by police.
And yet, almost 50 per cent said the ban "has made our roads safer."
About a quarter of Winnipeggers are members of CAA, with a slightly lower percentage for the rest of the province, according to Liz Peters , a manager with CAA Manitoba. Because many people share memberships, she estimates CAA "reaches 40 per cent of households."
The survey results showed both a high percentage of people admitting to still talking on their phone since the law was introduced (30 per cent), and a high percentage of people calling for higher punishment of offenders – 58 per cent said demerit points should be added to the $199.98 fine.
"Our members have identified distracted driving as the number one road safety concern," Peters said.
In a sign of the embrace of new Bluetooth technology, 48 per cent said they own a Bluetooth or other hands-free headset.