Despite many warnings and public education campaigns, Halifax District RCMP have actually been seeing more people using their cell phones while behind the wheel.

New Brunswick motorists have some new rules to follow in the new year and can expect heftier fines if caught for distracted driving.

The government is doubling fines to $280 for drivers convicted of distracted driving and to $480 for drivers who pass a school bus while its red lights are flashing.

Public Safety Minister Hugh Flemming says any death or injury due to distracted driving is one too many.

Also starting Jan. 1, drivers who encounter certain utility vehicles on the roads will be required to move over one lane and to slow down to at least half the posted speed limit.

Drivers will have to give space to tow trucks, highway maintenance vehicles as well as private and public utility vehicles that have their flashing lights engaged.

The updated legislation also allows police to impose zero-tolerance provisions of the law on novice drivers following a standard field sobriety test.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 31, 2020.