[caption id="attachment_80752" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Manitoba Public Insurance Launches Distracted Driving Media Campaign[/caption]Officials at Manitoba Public Insurance feel that the deaths of at least 160 people since 2005 as a result of distracted driving represents too great a loss. So they have launched a social media campaign to make drivers more aware of the deadly consequences associated with distracted driving. A representative of MPI reports that one-fourth of all crashes that now occur in and around Manitoba are the result of a distracted driver. And cell phone usage has been listed as the number one thing distracting drivers from paying attention to the road.
Latest figures show that more than 600 drivers annually are ticketed by the RCMP for distracted driving. MPI's new educational campaign, called "The Don't Text and Drive" campaign, has invited victims of distracted driving to speak to school age students about the devastation that one driver's thoughtless actions can cause others. Shelley Forney is among those invited to speak. Forney's 9-year old bike-riding daughter was killed by a driver too busy talking on her phone to pay attention before striking and killing the girl.
MPI's campaign is targeting drivers in the 16 to 25 age range, those drivers who don't have much very experience driving a vehicle and yet seem to feel convinced that nothing bad is going to happen to them. The campaign also want to help the public understand that distracted driving goes beyond cell phone usage, which carries a $200 fine, to also include using a GPS system while driving, eating and drinking behind the wheel of a car, reading the newspaper, or even applying make-up or brushing one's hair while looking in the rear-view mirror. Manitoba drivers currently don't incur demerits on their license for distracted driving charges, although other Canadian provinces do give demerits which ultimately increase a driver's car insurance premiums.
MPI launches anti-distracted driving campaign