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Manitoba MP tables bill aimed at cracking down on texting motorists

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OTTAWA — A Manitoba MP tabled a bill Wednesday aimed at cracking down on people using smartphones while driving.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2017 (1928 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — A Manitoba MP tabled a bill Wednesday aimed at cracking down on people using smartphones while driving.

“Right now, you are more likely to be a victim of distracted driving than a victim of impaired driving,” Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson told Parliament.

The private member’s bill would have the federal justice and transport ministers work with the provinces to create a framework aimed at deterring and preventing distracted driving, according to a press release. (The bill was not immediately available online.)

JUSTIN SAMANSKI-LANGILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley MP Doug Eyolfson tabled a bill Wednesday aimed at cracking down on people using smartphones while driving.

Eyolfson, who represents the area around Headingley, said his bill would have the government collect statistics on incidents of distracted driving that involve handheld electronic devices, public education campaigns and a look at driver-assistance technology.

He wrote that that framework could eventually suggest changes to criminal charges, but the bill itself doesn’t ask for tougher sentences. This summer, the Liberals faced concerns about already crowded courts when they mulled a lower blood-alcohol limit for impaired driving charges.

“Last year, in my home province of Manitoba, there were over 11,000 collisions related to distracted driving. That is almost 25 per cent of all collisions in the province. As a result, 29 people lost their lives,” claimed Eyolfson, a former emergency-room physician who said he’s seen people die from such collisions.

Private members’ bills don’t generally become law unless the ruling party supports them, and deem them a priority.

dylan.robertson@freepress.mb.ca

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