The beginning of July brought a new law to Michigan making it illegal to read, type, or send text messages while driving.
This new law is still in the “figuring it out stage” to crack down on drivers not keeping their eyes on the road. I am writing this article because last night I saw several people who were texting while driving, perhaps the drivers were absent minded and set in their old driving behaviors or they are unaware of this new law.
It is important to know a driver is still allowed to dial or talk on the phone while driving. Once the texter is caught, the first offence is a charge of $100, while every subsequent offence represents a $200 fine. No points will be added to a driver’s record.
Everyone is still working together to figure out the proper ways to enforce this new law. Lauren Podell from Local 4 reports that an officer can ask to look at your cell phone, but if you refuse than he is not allowed to look, and contention over the ticket can be brought up in court.
Michigan is the 24th state to ban texting. The bill was originally signed by Governor Granholm on Oprah’s “No Phone Zone” special.
Michigan is also the 19th state to make texting a primary ban. This means that an officer can pull over a driver without any other traffic offence than texting.
One way to combat this new law is to download mobile apps like DriveSafe.ly, which removes the texting temptation by reading aloud and responding to messages through voice recognition software. (Free download available at http://www.drivesafe.ly/)
Traveling? View other states positions against texting at http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html