Winnipeg Police continue to receive reports of hijackings of cars that were abandoned or with the keys in the ignition. In mid-December, Manitoba Public Insurance issued a press release stating that of the 3,100 hijackings last year, 90% of the hijackers used the original keys. In about 50% of the cases, the keys were in the ignition or in the glove compartment. In other cases, the keys were stolen from the house or from the pockets of owner`s jackets.
Manitoba Public Insurance‘s call centre has been busy at a much higher level than usual, some people had to wait for 30 minutes on hold to get to an operator, some had to call back multiple times.
While MPI originally suggested the increased number of calls was temporary and unusual, it hasn’t died down and operators are still overwhelmed. According to an MPI spokesman, the call volume for the week of February 18th was a whopping five times greater than it was at the same time last year.
To remind you, starting November 1st, 2018 Manitoba’s new distracted driving laws came into effect.
According to Manitoba Public Insurance, a total of 237 drivers province-wide have had their licenses suspended for the minimum three-day period since the new penalties came into place.
Unfortunately, a lot of those drivers are teenagers, who are not just irresponsible to their own vehicles and lives, but to other people’s health and lives as well.
Also, here are a few recommendations from Manitoba Public Insurance:
- Never leave your car with the keys in the ignition unattended, even for a moment.
- Do not leave a spare set of keys in the car.
- Use the “blocker” on the steering wheel.
- Set the alarm “ON”.
- Never leave children in the car, especially when working.
- Do not leave valuables in the car, especially in sight.
And some tips from car owners:
- If you found money under the wiper, do not stop to pick it up.
- When getting out of the car, always pull the keys out of the ignition.
- If you see something unusual, something feels wrong - just leave.
- Try not to refuel at night at remote gas stations.
- Install the DVR in the car.
- Park in well-lit areas.