An RCMP officer was nearly involved in a head-on collision last week in southern Manitoba.

Staff Sergeant Kyle McFadyen of the RCMP Traffic Services says an officer was patrolling Provincial Road 317, west of Lac du Bonnet, when an approaching car suddenly veered into his path, forcing him to take evasive action.

That stretch of pavement has a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour. McFadyen notes excessive speed was not considered a factor in this incident.

The 19-year-old driver indicated she may have been distracted. She has been charged with Drive Carelessly, which carries a fine of $672. She has also been handed a serious offence notice, and as a result, Manitoba Public Insurance could implement further penalties. McFadyen suggests there will also likely be demerits once Manitoba Public Insurance does a drivers license review.

According to McFadyen, based on the totality of the circumstances, the officer opted to stick with the provincial charge as opposed to a criminal code charge.

Meanwhile, McFadyen says more and more people are reporting distracted driving incidents.

"It's still a problem and it's still a cause of collisions in our province," he says.

And, with the amount of collisions and fatalities on our roads, McFadyen says they are trying to emphasize to drivers the importance of focusing on their task. He notes a number of factors could lead to distracted driving, including what we are thinking about, a cell phone or a pet in the vehicle that is climbing around.

"When you are behind the wheel, be responsible," he says. "Pay attention to the task at hand, which is driving safely to your destination."