Third Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 5


Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. H60 amended

1           The Highway Traffic Act is amended by this Act.

2           The following is added after section 186:

Smoking prohibited in motor vehicle if child present

186.1(1)    No person shall smoke tobacco or have lighted tobacco in a motor vehicle while another person who is younger than 16 years of age is in the vehicle.

Smoking by children in a motor vehicle prohibited

186.1(2)    No person who is younger than 16 years of age shall smoke tobacco or have lighted tobacco in a motor vehicle.  This subsection applies even if the person is alone in the vehicle and regardless of the age of any other person in the vehicle.

Prohibitions apply whether motor vehicle enclosed or not

186.1(3)    Subsections (1) and (2) apply in respect of a motor vehicle even if its top or a window, sunroof, door or other feature of the vehicle is open.

Offence and penalty

186.1(4)    A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000.

3           The following is added after section 215:

Definitions re hand-operated electronic devices

215.1(1)    The following definitions apply in this section.

"hand-operated electronic device" means

(a) a cellular telephone;

(b) another electronic device that

(i) includes a telephone function, and

(ii) normally is held in the user's hand during use or requires the user to use his or her hand to operate any of its functions;

(c) an electronic device that is not otherwise described in clause (a) or (b) but that

(i) is capable of transmitting or receiving e-mail or other text-based messages, and

(ii) normally is held in the user's hand during use or requires the user to use his or her hand to operate any of its functions; or

(d) any other electronic device that is prescribed as a hand-operated electronic device by the regulations. (« appareil électronique à commande manuelle »)

"use", in relation to a hand-operated electronic device, means any of the following actions:

(a) holding the device in a position in which it may be used;

(b) operating any of the device's functions;

(c) communicating by means of the device with another person or another device, by spoken word or otherwise;

(d) looking at the device's display; and

(e) taking any other action with or in relation to the device that is prescribed by the regulations. (« utiliser »)

Using hand-operated electronic device while driving prohibited

215.1(2)    No person shall use a hand-operated electronic device while driving a vehicle on a highway unless,

(a) before using the device by hand, the person safely drives the vehicle off the roadway and keeps the vehicle stationary while using the device; or

(b) the device

(i) is a cellular telephone or another electronic device that includes a telephone function, and

(ii) is configured and equipped to allow hands-free use as a telephone and is used in a hands-free manner.


215.1(3)    As an exception to subsection (2), a person may use a hand-operated electronic device by hand to call or send a message to a police force, fire department or ambulance service about an emergency.


215.1(4)    The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purposes of the definition "hand-operated electronic device" in subsection (1), prescribing other devices as hand-operated electronic devices;

(b) for the purposes of the definition "use" in subsection (1), prescribing other actions that, when done with or in relation to a hand-operated electronic device, constitute using it;

(c) respecting the exemption, with or without conditions, of certain classes or types of devices or vehicles, or certain classes of persons, from the operation of a provision of this section;

(d) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this section.

Coming into force

4           This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Highway Traffic Act to prohibit smoking in a vehicle by a person younger than 16, and by anyone else if a person younger than 16 is present.

The Bill also prohibits drivers from using a cell phone or similar electronic communication device except

  • to make a hands-free telephone call;
  • while pulled over and stopped; or
  • to communicate with a police, fire or ambulance service in an emergency.

Regulations may be made to add further exemptions for certain classes of devices, vehicles or persons, or to prohibit the use of other kinds of devices while driving.