Michigan: Cell phone & texting laws, bills

Last updated: August 14, 2014
Distracted driving update: The ban on cell phone use by most teenager drivers in Michigan is now in effect. It affects young drivers with a level 1 or 2 graduated license. 17-year-olds who advanced to level 3 (unrestricted) licensing are not affected.

Michigan flag for cell phones info pageFines for cell phone violations by teens are up to $100 plus possible license suspension, at the discretion of local courts. The teen driver’s probationary license period also could be extended. No points.

“This is an important chance to step up, particularly for young drivers,” Gov. Rick Snyder said at the public signing ceremony for “Kelsey’s Law” on Jan. 8. It went into effect in late March.

Texting already is banned in Michigan for all drivers. The governor said the signing of the teen driver law wasn’t intended to clear the way for a statewide cell phone ban.

The law has primary enforcement status. Both the governor’s office and police signaled that in most cases the novice driver law will be enforced only after detection of another moving violation, however, meaning enforcement effectively will be secondary enforcement.

Current distracted driving prohibitions:

  • Text messaging outlawed for all drivers. Fines $100 (first offense) and then $200.
  • Drivers under age 18 with Level 1 or 2 learner’s permits prohibited from use of cell phones. Fine $100 with possible extension of license probationary period.
  • Drivers of commercial motor vehicles and school buses barred from using handheld cell phones. Fines $100 (first offense) and then $200.
  • In Detroit, drivers making cell phone calls must use hands-free devices.

Read the Michigan text messaging law | Michigan teen cell phone law

Distracted driving notes (2013):
State Sen. Howard Walker’s teen driver law was named in memory of Kelsey Rafaelle, a Sault Ste. Marie teen killed while driving and using a cell phone. Kelsey Rafaelle’s mother, Bonnie, actively campaigned for the legislation in memory of her late daughter. Kelsey’s parents and twin sister attended the teen cell phone ban signing on Jan. 8.

Ironically, the governor has a teen named Kelsey who received her driver’s license in August. “This law means a lot to me, both as governor and as a parent of a young person who is learning to drive,” Snyder said. “I appreciate the efforts of Kelsey’s mother, Bonnie, and family who have worked tirelessly to get the message out about the dangers of distracted driving.

“What a journey,” Bonnie Raffaele said during the ceremony. “I know that Kelsey is up in heaven just clapping and screaming for joy over this because of the lives that can be saved through the tragic death of her.”

“I have not been this happy in three years,” Raffaele said after the signing.

The teen driver law does not apply to use of a voice-operated system integrated into the vehicle.

More than 5,000 distracted-driving crashes were logged in Michigan during 2012. Of those, about 750 involved cell phones. An analysis by MLive Media Group indicated cell phone crashes were down 9 percent for the year and were at the lowest level since record-keeping began in 2003. Other types of distracted-driving crashes were up 11 percent, the report said.

Distracted driving legislation (2013) :
House Bill 4254: Amends distracted driving laws by adding school bus drivers to handheld cell phone ban for commercial drivers. Defines handheld cell phone use, including “reaching for a mobile phone.” This content added to unrelated bill via amendment (S-1) in Senate. Approved by Senate in a 161-35 vote of May 9. Approved unanimously by the House on May 14. Signed into law by the governor May 21. Took effect immediately.

House Bill 4196: Exempts illuminated mobile billboards (mostly ads mounted on trailers) from various restrictions on distracting billboards along highways. Did not advance in 2013. (Nathan)

2012 distracted driving notes:
Gov. Rick Snyder signaled Dec. 22 that he probably would sign the teen driver legislation, which cleared the House in the final hours of the 2012 session. He signed off on Public Act 592 three weeks later.

A rally at the Capitol in support of SB 756 (Kelsey’s Law) included several lawmakers, as well as reps from the Michigan Chiefs of Police and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.

The Sept. 25 protest targeted the House and its speaker Jase Bolger, who resisted giving the bill a hearing. Bolger said law would be a failed attempt to “legislate personal responsibility.” (Bolger later allowed the bill to go to the House floor without committee approval.)

“We stop legislating common sense when people stop dying,” replied the mother of Kelsey Rafaelle, the teen killed while driving and talking on a cell phone. Kelsey was a Level 2 driver.

State Sen. Howard Walker’s novice driver legislation (SB 756) specified secondary enforcement, but the bill was amended in a Senate committee to provide for primary enforcement. Still, Michigan Police told the AP in mid-December that they intend to use what is effectively secondary enforcement — meaning another offense such as speeding or weaving would be needed for a traffic stop. The governor’s office endorsed this approach in January.

Not surprisingly, the teen driver law will exempt the use of voice-activated systems built into vehicles. The auto industry has been lobbying nationwide to have distracted driving laws allow use of interactive dashboard technologies.

96 percent of Michigan drivers acknowledge that texting and driving is dangerous behavior, but as many as 17 percent say they read texts while behind the wheel. The survey of 600 drivers by the Office of Highway Safety Planning found 56 percent of them used their cell phones while driving, even though 80 percent acknowledged the practice is dangerous, and a third of them said it was as bad as drunken driving. “The (need) to be constantly connected and available seems to trump traffic safety,” OHSP director Michael Prince said.

Troy’s City Council voted Aug. 13 to remove the general distracted driving provisions of its 2010 law. Troy’s ordinance addressed “eating, writing, performing personal hygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers or unsecured cargo.”

An Ann Arbor mother of four died March 27 after she flipped her auto while driving and texting, police said.

Distracted driving was a factor in 3,986 crashes in 2011, transportation officials report. Cell phone use was linked to 821 crashes.

State police said in February 2012 that 1,149 drivers have been ticketed under the texting & driving law that went into effect July 1, 2010.

“It’s safe to say probationary drivers should be totally focusing on the road and not on their cellphone conversations,” said state Sen. Howard Walker, author of SB 756. The distracted driving bill was approved by the Senate on March 15.

At least one opponent of SB 756 wants to see a tougher cell phone law instead. Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, voted against the bill because it did not apply to all drivers.

Members of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee signaled Feb. 21 that they preferred primary enforcement for the teen cell phone ban envisioned by SB 756. They followed through Feb. 28 by amending the bill for primary status. Committee chairman Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, proposed the amendment. Sen. Coleman Young, D-Detroit, decided not to vote on the legislation as a result.

Bonnie Raffaele, who lost her teen daughter in a cell phone-related crash, testified in favor of Senate Bill 756 at a hearing Feb. 21. Sen. Howard Walker’s plan would ban cell phone use by Michigan’s youngest drivers. “I ask you today to please help me save the kids and keep someone else from suffering like we have,” she said to the Energy and Technology Committee. Senators reportedly assured her the legislation would clear the Senate (and it did).

“Now we need to get to work on members of the House,” Raffaele said after the March 15 Senate vote.

House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, reportedly wants to see how the state’s text messaging law plays out before deciding on cell phone prohibitions.

Michigan State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division treated the first 90 days under the federal handheld cell phone law as a warning/education period. The commercial vehicle regulations went into effect Jan. 3, 2012.

Over the past decade, more than 9,000 traffic accidents in Michigan involved cell phone use, according to the Booth Michigan newspaper chain.

2011-2012 distracted driving legislation:
Senate Bill 756: Would prohibit teens with a restricted (level 1 or 2 graduated) driver’s license from using a cell phone while behind the wheel. As introduced, bill calls for secondary enforcement but it has been amended to primary. Approved unanimously by the Transportation Committee on Jan. 25, 2012. Amended and approved by the Senate Energy and Technology Committee in a unanimous vote of Feb. 28. Legislation now calls for primary enforcement and allows for voice-activated operation. Via substitute S-3. Approved by the Senate in a 28-10 vote taken March 15. Latest legislative action: Approved by the House in a 74-33 vote of Dec. 14. Signed into law by the governor Jan. 8, 2013. Took effect in March 2013. Aka “Kelsey’s Law.” (Walker)

House Bill 4208: Would establish graduated penalties for causing an accident while driving and viewing a TV screen or similar electronic device. Exempts screens related to vehicle use such as dashboard operation systems. HB 4209 (tied to 4208) makes killing a person while using an electronic device such as a TV a class C felony. In injury case, class E felony. No legislative activity on these bills in over a year. (Geiss)

2011 distracted driving notes:
The prosecutor in Lapeer County is calling on legislators to toughen the laws against causing a death while text messaging. Prosecutor Byron Konschuh cites the case of Jerry Joseph, who pleaded guilty to a moving violation causing death (and driving without insurance). Joseph ran a stop sign in Attica Township and killed a 78-year-old woman. He faced only two years in jail. The actual sentence was for 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. “We feel the punishment (for texting and killing) should be similar to operating under the influence causing death, which carries a 15-year maximum in prison,” Konschuh said.

It was estimated there were 881 cell phone-related accidents in 2010, with five people killed and almost 300 people injured.

Distracted driving notes (2010):
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed the no-texting-while driving bills into law on a “No Phone Zone” special on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

State Rep. Richard LeBlanc was pushing for his teenage driver restrictions to be adopted before the end of 2010. LeBlanc, D-Westland, filed HB 4493 back in March 2009. Its primary concern is limiting to one the number of non-family members that teenagers with restricted licenses are allowed to transport, but it includes a provision that cell phones are banned for young drivers with Level 2 licenses.

2009-2010 legislation:
HB 4394: Would outlaw text messaging by all motorists. Fines $100 then $200. The texting bill was approved by the House on Dec. 8, 2009, and transmitted to the Senate (Transportation Committee, Dec. 9). The Senate approved the bill on March 25 (a 28-10 vote) but upgraded it to primary enforcement. The House agreed to the change on April 20 (a 74-33 vote), but a minor companion bill had to pass before it was sent to the governor, which happened on April 28. The bill was signed on April 30, along with two other texting-related measures, HB 4370 and SB 468. Latest action: The law took effect July 1, 2010. (Gonzales)

HB 4370: Companion bill to HB 4394 (above). Specifies that no points would be added to a driver license for a violation of the text messaging prohibition. Signed into law by the governor on April 30, along with two other texting-related measures, HB 4394 and SB 468. (Polidori)

SB 468: Specifies that violations of the text messaging ban are not to be recorded on the driver’s master record. (This bill originally made handheld cell phone use illegal for all drivers and was approved in the Senate, but was converted to the master record exemption in the House.) Signed by the governor on April 30 as part of the text messaging package (see HB 4370 and HB 4394, above.) (Kahn)

(more 2009-2010 legislation)

SB 402: Would prohibit all drivers from text messaging. Use of cell phones legal if a hands-free device is employed. Secondary enforcement, meaning a law officer cannot stop or cite a driver for this reason alone. Approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Dec. 8, 2009, and then by the full Senate on Jan. 26, 2010. (Read the Senate version.) Sent to the House (Thomas)

HB 4369: Would outlaw talking on a handheld cell phone while driving. Also would prohibit text messaging and instant messaging on cell phones. Fine of $100. (See SB 417). Inactive in committee.

SB 417: Seeks to ban use of a handheld cell phone while driving on Michigan’s roads. Includes text messaging and instant messaging on cell phones. Maximum fine would be $100. Inactive.

SB 467: Would prohibit school bus drivers from using cell phones while the vehicle is in motion or students are loading. No activity on this bill.

2010 distracted driving notes:
Gov. Granholm said of the texting law: “By signing this law and making texting while driving a primary offense, we are giving Michigan’s law enforcement officers the tools necessary to identify and stop this dangerous behavior before it results in a crash causing injury or death.” She said she would support further efforts to ban drivers’ use of handheld cell phones.

The city of Troy followed up on the tougher state texting law by outlawing drivers’ use of handheld cell phones and declaring the entry of phone numbers a texting violation. Troy’s ordinance also addresses other forms of driver distraction: “eating, writing, performing personal hygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers or unsecured cargo.” The law applies if the driver does not have at least one hand on the wheel with “a controlled grip.” Fines $200 for text messaging and $75 for talking on a handheld cell phone. No points. Troy’s police remain in “education mode” about the law as of early November, Lt. David Livingston told HandsFreeInfo. Enforcement won’t begin until Jan. 1, 2011, due to “vendor issues.”

Police Capt. Gerry Scherlink found himself defending Troy’s distracted driving fines in early November, in the wake of charges that the city was ticketing to raise money: “The Troy Police Department utilizes problem solving in its approach to traffic safety. Traffic enforcement for the mere sake of issuing tickets for the so-called generation of revenue is not practiced by this department.” About 100 warnings have been issued since early October 2010.

State Rep. Lee Gonzales, D-Flint, sponsor of the original HS 4394, pushed the House to approve the Senate version of his bill, which happened on April 20. The Senate version of the texting ban called for primary enforcement; the House wanted secondary enforcement. Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, pushed through the upgraded enforcement. The bill became law April 30.

Senate Floor Leader Samuel “Buzz” Thomas saw his SB 402 clear the full Senate on Jan. 26, 2010. The vote was 31-6. This is his second legislative attempt to end text messaging while driving.

(text continued)

“It seems like every month we read about another fatality — or near fatality — because someone was texting while driving,” said Thomas, D-Detroit. “This is ridiculous and it really needs to end.”

An amendment seeking to upgrade SB 402 enforcement to primary failed.

HB 4369 originally called for fines of $100 for cell phoning behind the wheel to $500 for texting. SB 467 and 468 came with $100 fines.

Ann Arbor’s proposed ban on handheld cell phone use and text messaging while driving passed its first reading on Feb. 17, 2010, but the matter was placed on hold a month later, pending another City Council vote. It also prohibits looking at electronic maps and GPS devices. The fine would be $125/$300 i fan accident results. Councilman Stephen Rapundalo, D-2nd Ward, is the sponsor. The mayor told the council not to wait on state legislation — “look at what happened with smoking.”

Supporters of the House text messaging bills include the State Police, AAA Michigan, Ford Motor Company and Verizon Wireless.

A school bus drivers association opposes SB 467, saying that the transit cell phone law as written could rule out use of future technologies that help drivers do their jobs. “We’re concerned about a blanket prohibition on data transfer,” said Paul Wegmeyer, chairman of the legislative committee for the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation.

The Saginaw News editorialized in favor of State Rep. Gino Polidori’s cell phone and texting bill HB 4369:

Even if the Democrat-controlled House OKs it, the Republican-controlled Senate hasn’t given a similar bill so much as a committee hearing. That will change when the accident numbers pile up, when the deaths accumulate, when it starts to get personal. It’s just too bad we may have to waste so much time — and lives — until then.

Previous legislation:
HB 5117: The House voted to prohibit text messaging by drivers in a 68-32 vote on Dec. 4. The law would have prohibited drivers from reading, writing or sending text messages using wireless devices, including cellular phones. It did not advance in the Senate during the special session.

HB 5117 was introduced by Rep. Steve Bieda, D-Warren.

Also on Dec. 4, the House shot down HB 4982, which would require drivers making cell phone calls to use hands-free devices. Rep. Gino Polidori, D-Dearborn, said he would revive his legislation for the next legislative session. “The state has seat-belt laws to protect drivers, and we prohibit drunken driving to eliminate threats to other drivers and innocent bystanders. A cell phone restriction would serve both purposes,” Polidori has said.

Comments

  1. I think most of us should not be punished for some of us not having common sense while driving and talking

  2. Dennis Warren says:

    They should BAN cell and electronic devises in Auto’s.
    When you are in an auto you are supposed to be driving. Not Talking on a phone or Texting or anything else.
    We had Funeral services for my Grand Daughter 10-18-2009 .
    Because the girl driving was on a cell phone and lost her concentration and veered into the wrong lane..
    CELL PHONES SHOULD BE BANNED IN AUTO”S PERIOD.
    We never needed them when I was a kid..
    Dennis Warren

    • William Bond says:

      I disagree, my smart phone is my life line, I have health problems and need it for emergencies, I also use it as my GPS. When I have to be a place, before I even pull out of the drive way I have it set up and ready, mounted on my dashboard so that I don’t have to touch it but just listen for the prompts to guide me to my destination. If the phone rings, I ignore the call. To blanket term that no cell phone in a car period is just nonsense. If you want to go that far why not take out radios, cd players, TV’s, or DVD players.

      How bout just be responsible, distractions are a normal part of every day, but we can be responsible and minimize them.

  3. So much for the land of the free this is down right stupid, the law should be switched to people who can’t mulit-task cannot talk on their phones this is the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard of welcome to socialism ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the government screwing people over becasue their in debt and can’t afford to get out thanks a lot Granholm

  4. Response to Kyle:
    I would like to be there the day you have to go identify a family members body due to a horrible accident caused by someone using their phone while driving and ask you again if you agree with this law! Maybe you will agree with it when your sitting in a jail cell for manslaughter! Do you really believe this is taking our money for our state’s deficit? You will not have to worry about that when family is saying “goodbye” for the last time to you. Or god forbid another family memeber! Seriously, grow up!

  5. "god forbid" mary says:

    your a sick woman mary wanting to be present the day someones family member dies and watch someone identify the body!

  6. Since we can’t talk on the phone unless a headset is in use, text, use a GPS its now time to make reading a book, eating, changing the radio station, shaveing, putting on make-up, changing your clothes, talking to passengers, blinking, breathing and everything else besides driving against the law…

    Then we will all be safe!!!

    give me a break, there has been NO STATISTICAL CHANGE in accidents in areas from before a “no text/cell use” law and after the law. IT DOSENT WORK!!!!!

  7. Interesting. Does the state actually think this is going to STOP people from texting? I wouldn’t be surprised if it caused MORE accidents because instead of holding the phone up where you can see both the street and the phone and still have your arms on the wheel, now people have to hold their phones down and their side, glance down to look at them, and take their concentration off the road for even longer so the cops don’t see the phone.

    Does this law also include cops typing on laptops while driving? Or do they get a “special” law just like everything else?

    I’ve been texting and talking on my phone while driving for 5 years, and have never even come close to an accident because of it.

    I think there’s more to the texting and driving story than meets the eye and Michigan legislature needs to figure that out.

  8. WEVE DONE THIS TO OUR SELVES! THE FOUNDERS OF AMERICA CAME HERE TO GET AWAY FROM SUCH RESTRICTIONS. COWBOY’S USED TO BE ABLE TO CARRY PISTOLS IN THE STREETS. THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY SMALL STEPS THAT BRING US CLOSER TO WHAT OUR FOUNDERS DISPISED OF. WE ARE NOT A FREE AMERICA WE ARE A RESTRICTED AMERICA. YOUNG PEPLE TAKE WARNING. VOTE WISELY.

  9. I think we should exspect more out of our polititions. Ask your self how much did you know about Granholm before elections. I never even heard of her. Sure I herd a few speaches and seen a few debates, however that’s just a small picture of what a person is like. who ever we vote for is going to efect our everyday life, so souldn’t we know more.

  10. Sure we souldn’t be texting while driving. However I am trying to piont out that this is to much big brother. so a restriction is put on texting, but what next. where does it end. mabey we sould pass a law requireing all of us to stay in a padded room so we dont hert ourselves. Sounds rediculuos! About as rediculuos as passing a law restricting text messageing.

  11. This is CRAZZY! I am surprised that there aren’t more people that are outragged by this.

  12. Vickie says:

    Come on people! While I agree that there is a lot of big brother, there are also a lot of people out there who don’t have a lick of common sense. This is not a country where you can do what ever you want at anybody’s expense and say it’s your right. People ARE being injured/killed by drivers who are trying to text/email/dial on their phone while driving a vehicle at 70 MPH.

  13. As a motorcyclist, I can not text, place calls, eat, chat with my passenger, read, or fiddle with a radio while driving, I am 100% focused on traffic, road conditions, animals wandering out onto the road and idiots who aren’t paying enough attention to what they’re doing (driving) because they are distracted by all of these things.

    I have watched far too many of my friends and fellow bikers get killed or injured because someone claims to have not seen them before they pulled out into traffic, or changed lanes, or made a sudden turn… The average car weighs about two tons, that is a heavy piece of equipment to be operating at 80MPH with only half of your attention devoted to it.

    I realize that some calls are important and it is not always practical to stop to use the phone, but if someone texts you just call them back if it is that vital while you’re driving …and for God’s sake spend a few bucks and get a Bluetooth so you have both hands free and can turn your head all the way around to check traffic while you’re driving!

    If this legislation saves just one life it is worth everyone’s inconveinience.

  14. You’re right, we shouldn’t have restrictions. They just hold us back. Kids should be able to drive when they are 10 (even if it’s unsafe because they can’t reach the pedals OR be trained to operate a motor vehicle), and anyone should DEFINITELY be able to purchase firearms at the drop of a hat, despite their background check. We should allow anyone to pollute our water with whatever their factory spits out, and in general allow whoever to do whatever…

    Perhaps those afraid of restrictions are so upset at being restricted, you are ignoring the possibility that not everyone will be as attentive as you are.

    I can’t count the number of times vehicles on the highway merge halfway into my lane as if they were legally drunk, and as I drive by my wife notices their head down texting. Every time.

    Talking on a bluetooth headset, or speaker, is fine; eyes are forward, attention more than less on the road. Phone calls will be made, things have to be done, I understand that. But texting while you are supposed to have your hands and eyes on the road?!?! I’m upset the fine is so small…

    Quote Vicki: “This is not a country where you can do what ever you want at anybody’s expense and say it’s your right. People ARE being injured/killed by drivers who are trying to text/email/dial on their phone while driving a vehicle at 70 MPH.”

  15. Can everyone please read Kim’s comment again? This legislation will NOT stop people from texting/emailing/IMing/etc. while driving. People will just do it in a way that is more discreet = more focus on their hand & phone and less focus on the road. In my opinion, changing the radio station or finding a good station is more distracting for me than when I’m texting (pushing buttons that I don’t even have to look at on my phone for). Should changing the radio be illegal too?

    And Ant, please tell your motorcycle buddies to stop swerving in and out between me and the safe distance I’ve created in relation to the car in front of me. Lives are being lost because of this too. I’ve lost friends to a car/motorcycle accident where it was the motorcyclist’s fault.

    “If this legislation saves just one life it is worth everyone’s [inconvenience].” Well I say make motorcycles illegal, it’s only an inconvenience that could save at least one life, right? Motorcycles are more dangerous than most cars and when purchasing this type of vehicle, the concept should be understood that driving a motorcycle comes with greater risk.

    With this legislation, the amount of texting will stay the same but accidents will only further increase.

  16. Jennifer says:

    We add law after law attempting to control what people do and legislate intelligence and common sense. Tragically, we systematically remove the need and even desire to take responsibility for our actions.

    The fact is we should realize that by accepting our license to drive and getting behind the wheel we are responsible for doing all we can to not harm anything or damage property. It’s already the law we don’t need to make a whole bunch of little laws if we just uphold and enforce that one.

  17. On the news last night, Channel 7 interviewed a police officer as he was pulling over drivers & gave them warnings about the new law going into effect today. When the reporter asked the officer how he would know who to pull over, he responded he could tell based on drivers looking down, or driving a bit slower than the rest of the cars, or that a lot of times texters will weave a bit near the median. He said these were all signs of distracted driving.

    My concern is what if someone is just changing the radio station, or simply reaching for a kleenex? The officer can still pull the driver over. And then what? Will the officer actually admit they’ve made a mistake? And how are they expecting to prove you were texting?

    My cell is usually in the cup holder, located in my center console. But, just because it’s sitting there doesn’t mean I’m using it. I actually don’t text/drive, but I do answer the phone when it rings. And I usually look at the screen before I answer it, just in case it’s someone that can wait until I’m not driving.

    My point is, I’m wondering where the police will actually draw the line on this law? As I said above, if the officer mistakes you reaching for a kleenex as texting, will he admit he’s wrong & let you go? Or will he give you a ticket anyway for distracted driving?

    Just wondering…

  18. It’s just another way to get money from us. They say it’s to save lives, but let’s face it, the state is hurting for money and fines are just another means of revenue.

  19. The only people that should be allowed to use cell phones and text while driving are the political elite because they’re much more intelligent than the normal shmuck-on-the-street. It’s just like why only cops should have guns . . . because they’re so much more intelligent and capable than mere citizens.

    Actually, now that I think about it, only the political elite of the politbureau should be allowed to have cars (which, of course, should be paid for by the people). And, the political elite should also probably have lifetime pensions equal to twice whatever it was they were paid when they were in governmental service for all the fantastic work they did while in office. After all, it’s only fair.

  20. Wow, I’m surprised at all the complaining about a law meant to make driving safer. Well, lets look at it this way, the law is in effect, and there isn’t any politician that is going to repeal it, so quit crying about it and deal with the tickets you get for being dumb. I for one am glad to see this law in effect because I see so many people drifting on the highway due to texting, and when I honk at them, they act as if they did nothing wrong. News Flash, you endanger someone’s life, you sure as hell did something wrong.

  21. I would like to see cell phone use by drivers in moving vehicles banned, period. No talking, no texting, no nothing. As someone above noted, a huge percentage of drivers have not a lick of sense and cannot discipline themselves to do the safe thing regarding cell phone use while driving a car. Most of the worst offenders can’t drive worth a damn anyway; add texting and chatting about inanities to that handicap and you have trouble waiting to happen.

  22. Michael Smeltzer says:

    State Law Makers should think long and hard about these cell phone laws. First talking on a cell phone while driving is no more of a hazard then talking to a passenger sitting next to the driver.

    What’s next, outlaw talking to your passenger while driving? Making the police “Platinum Citizens?” i.e. give the police exemption from the law while everyone else pays fines or does jail time?
    Isn’t there enough bad will between the general public and law enforcement already?

    While making illegal the act of “texting while driving” is a reasonable law, because it requires distractions from watching where your going down the road. That should be enough on use of cell phone regulation, while driving. If and emergency occurred either at home or work or while driving, most drivers would become more of a road hazard if forced to pull over or stop in traffic. Have you ever seen cops the TV program where the police where pulled over and became a driving distraction to the point where other drivers where rubber necking and hit the squad car and the cop? I have.

    Just because some citizens have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time, doesn’t mean the rest of us suffer under new unreasonable laws. Laws most of the population will resent and make that resentment felt at the polls sooner or later.

  23. RT, and Smeltzer, you are correct. It’s the pompous, arrogant, lawmakers that make these rediculous laws and are chauffeured around while they talk on their phones. Another nail in the small business coffin too. Just heard the feds have enacted a law starting 1/3/12 banning phones. Someday maybe folks will get enough of this and do what has to be done to stop these idiots in power.

    • RLT: DOT has banned use of handheld cell phones by interstate truckers and bus drivers. Feds can’t enact a broad cell phone law. Thanks for the comment.

  24. Fines should be higher, I don’t want any of these idiots hitting me while i am on my motorcycle. Too many people out there on their cell phones still, they don’t care…until it’s too late.

  25. Larry Tessari says:

    There arte two things that could reduce the accident rate considerably that the government has not suggested:

    1. Require all buildings, both residential and comercial to have numbers visible from the street. One of the biggest distractions to driving is someone looking for an address. and
    2. Create a web site where drivers can report confusing, unclear, or conflicting traffic signs. Accidents can be caused because someone is not sure what he or she is supposed to do.

  26. Just this past Sunday my brother and his son were out for a motorcyle ride when they were hit head on by a lady texting and driving. My brother is now on life support with a serious brain injury as well as other injuries, and my nephew won’t walk for months because this young lady was breaking the law (texting) and crossed into their lane, hitting them head on. My family is now left with a heartbreaking decision. If my brother passes away this driver should be arrested for vehicular manslaughter period!

  27. For all you morons who don’t want the texting ban: We pray that you keep your civil rights and when your loved one, (husband, wife, mother, daughter or son) is hit and killed by the next teenager driving & texting you will be the one to live with the consequences of your ignorance.

  28. It breaks my heart to see Police texting while driving themselves — it shows every other driver that is it okay. I am 100% against texting while driving, but if we want others to feel that way to then so do our police officers.

    And to all the idoits out there that don’t see a problem with texting and driving, you are arrogant and selfish. One day it will be a loved one or you that people are griving over or getting sued.

  29. justsayin.. says:

    Deepest sympathy to the girl who passed. Yet parents have to ask themselves who buys our kids these things? Who allows children to have 24 hours of constant use of (smartphones/cell phones)? Saying “NO” is not always a bad thing, we do have to be a parent first and not always the friend. If anything should be passed it should be the age limit on drivers training. It should get moved up to 16, when children are yet a little more responsible and not so … out of “middle school”, “jr high” … “8th grade”..!

  30. Hands-free … only way to go. Apps are available that will even convert voice to text and back again; Bluetooth is everywhere. There is no excuse for exposing others to danger because you made an irresponsible choice.

  31. I’d like to say the Ford SYNC is a huge distraction. I find it very difficult to use and due to that, just as or more distraction than texting. In fairness, my ability to learn the SYNC is likely part of the issue. So, if its that difficult and frustrating to use, why use it??

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