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Speeding and distracted driving offences are up considerably in the City of Winkler.

Winkler Police Service released annual stats recently outlining criminal code offences for 2018. Police Chief Ryan Hunt says while the numbers were similar to 2017, school zone speed enforcement campaigns funded by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) led to a jump in highway traffic offences.

In total, police handed out 146 speeding tickets for a total of 789 Provincial Traffic Offences, nearly double the previous year.

Hunt reminds residents penalties for distracted driving has also increased to $672 and come with a driver's licence suspension.

"In 2019 we will continue to partner with MPI in an effort to make our roads safer and it would be nice to see the number of offences drop," he says.

More than 30 speeding tickets were issued in school zones last September alone.

During the MPI sponsored campaigns, officers not on regularly scheduled shifts patrolled school zones, keeping an eye out for speeding and other driving infractions. Driving 10 km/h above the posted 30 km/h results in a ticket of $181. Going 20 km/h over the speed limit is $312.

The Provincial Government also increased the penalties on distracted driving last year, rising fines for using a hand-operated electronic device while driving from $203 to $672, and an increase in demerits for careless driving from two points to five points for each infraction.

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