On Thursday Nov. 27, Manitoba’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Ron Lemieux, introduced Bill 5, The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Promoting Safer and Healthier Conditions in Motor Vehicles).  The bill would ban smoking in vehicles carrying children under age 16, with the bill to come into effect on a date to be fixed by proclamation.   Four provinces/territories have banned smoking in vehicles carrying children: Yukon (age 18); B.C. (age 16); Ontario (age 16), N.S. (age 19).  A draft bill was tabled for comment in PEI (age 19).   The Government’s news release and several news items are below To see the bill, visit:

 

Bill 5 would also ban use of cell phones or hand held electronic devices by drivers, with some exceptions.

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier, on Monday Nov. 24, opposition Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux had reintroduced his bill to ban smoking in vehicles carrying children under age 12.   To see Bill 201, The Non-Smokers Health Protection Amendment Act (Protecting Children from Second-Hand Smoke in Motor Vehicles), visit:

 

 

 

http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/39-3/b201e.php <http://web2.gov.mb.ca/bills/39-3/b201e.php>

 

 

 

Previously, on Thursday Nov. 20, the Manitoba Government’s Throne Speech included the following:

 

 

 

“This year our government will introduce new legislation to ban smoking in cars when children are present and the use of hand-held cellphones or text messaging devices while driving.”

 

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http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=&item=4835

 

 

 

Manitoba Government, News Release, November 27, 2008

 

 

PROPOSED BAN ON HAND-HELD CELL PHONE USE, TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING WOULD ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY: LEMIEUX

 

 

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Proposed HTA Amendments Would Also Ban Smoking in Vehicles When Children are Present

 

Proposed amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) introduced in the Manitoba legislature today would ban text messaging and talking on hand-held cell phones while driving, as well as smoking in cars when children under the age of 16 are present, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux has announced.

 

 

 

“We all know how important it is to pay full attention while behind the wheel, and imposing such a law removes a major distraction, helping to ensure motorists focus their attention on what matters most – the road,” said Lemieux. “This legislation renews our government’s commitment to increasing safety on the province’s roads.”

 

 

 

“Second-hand smoke increases a child’s risk of developing a serious respiratory illness,” said Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross.  ”This new legislation will help protect Manitoba children from exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.”

 

 

 

“Physicians are very supportive of all these amendments and commend the Manitoba government for taking these steps to protect Manitobans,” said Dr. Robyn Olson, president of the Manitoba Medical Association (MMA). “There is strong evidence of the dangers second-hand smoke creates and this goes a long way to clearing the air for all.”

 

 

 

Olson also noted the MMA conducted a survey in May 2007 and found that 75 per cent of Manitobans supported a ban on cell phone use while driving.

 

 

 

Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec have comparable bans on hand-held cell phones. Ontario has also recently introduced legislated proposals banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

 

 

Several jurisdictions have introduced prohibitions on smoking in vehicles with children present including British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon.

 

 

 

Manitoba’s proposed legislation would allow for the use of hands-free communication devices when used in a hands-free manner.

 

 

 

Lemieux noted an extensive public education campaign will be rolled out to inform the public and give motorists access to the information they need prior to the proposed amendments becoming law.

 

 

 

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Manitoba introduces bill to limit cellphone use, smoking in cars The Canadian Press

 

Nov. 27, 2008

 

 

WINNIPEG – Proposed legislation could see Manitoba drivers facing fines for using hand-held cellphones or for smoking if children were in a vehicle.

 

The NDP government has introduced a bill aimed at increasing road safety and protecting young people from second-hand smoke.

 

Similar to laws in other provinces, the legislation would prevent drivers from using hand-held devices such as phones or text-messaging equipment unless they pulled over to the side of the road.

 

The law would also ban anyone from smoking in a car if a child under 16 were present.

 

Drivers who didn’t comply would face fines of at least $195.

 

Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux can’t say when the bill might become law, but adds there will be a public education campaign first to warn people about the new rules.

 

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Manitoba to force drivers to hang up, butt out CBC.CA News Nov. 27, 2008 [Winnipeg]

 

 

Manitoba’s NDP government has followed other jurisdictions by moving to ban drivers from talking on a hand-held phone while behind the wheel.

 

The province also plans to levy fines against drivers who smoke with children under 16 in the car.

 

&ldquo;We all know how important it is to pay full attention while behind the wheel,” Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux said as the government introduced the legislation Thursday.

 

Manitoba’s Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said doctors support the effort to curb the spread of second-hand smoke. &ldquo;This new legislation will help protect Manitoba children from exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke,&rdquo; she said.

 

Drivers caught using a cellphone behind the wheel will be fined $190, officials said. And anyone caught smoking with a youngster in the car faces a $220 fine.

 

Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec have similar bans on hand-held cellphones. Ontario has also recently introduced similar changes to the law. At least six U.S. states have similar bans.

 

Several jurisdictions have introduced prohibitions on smoking in vehicles with children present including British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon.

 

Manitoba&rsquo;s proposed legislation would allow for the use of hands-free mobile phones.

 

Police will be expected to enforce the changes in the Highway Traffic Act in the same way as the current seatbelt law is enforced.

 

A public education campaign will be rolled out before the proposed amendments become law.

 

The new measures come about at a time when the Doer government has announced a series of other bans. The NDP government just announced it will ban logging operations in all but one of Manitoba&rsquo;s 80 parks by April 1, 2009.

 

And a ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags will be phased in over two years.

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