WINNIPEG – A new Manitoba Public Insurance public awareness campaign dubbed ‘Friendly Manitoba’ is bringing attention to the issue of road rage – a problem MPI said drivers in the province are struggling with.
In a recent road safety survey of 1,500 Manitoba drivers, MPI said three in 10 drivers admitted to acts of road rage. MPI’s new campaign will follow a middle-aged man who at first seems like a model citizen, but when he gets behind the wheel he shows off his angry personality.
“Anger is often displayed by shouting, cursing or making rude gestures, or more rarely, extreme actions, such as forcing a car off the road and worse,” Satvir Jatana, vice-president responsible for MPI communications, said in a news release. “The road safety survey confirmed many Manitoba drivers act out their anger in response to traffic situations and other road users.”
Jatana said road rage can cause the driver to be distracted and increases the risk of a collision, adding that people who drive anger-free are 35 per cent less likely to be in a collision.
MPI said four in 10 drivers admitted to weaving in and out of traffic, and nearly three-quarters of drivers admitted to speeding up through a yellow light. MPI said more than 2,000 drivers are at the bottom of the Driver Safety Rating scale and pay a $3,000 driver’s license surcharge.
“Angry driving not only leads to a higher risk of collisions, it’s unsafe and unpleasant for other passengers and sets a poor example for the next generation of drivers – our children and is counterintuitive to our culture of “friendly Manitobans,” Jatana said.