Submitted by Michigan Chamber
(Photo Courtesy of Metro Creative Solutions)
Legislation making it illegal to hold and use a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle in Michigan will take effect June 30, making Michigan the 26th state to establish hands-free driving laws.
Texting while driving is already illegal in Michigan, but the new law would prohibit individuals from using cellphones while driving — unless it’s being used via a hands-free program or device, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or physically mounted to a vehicle.
What the Law Prohibits
House Bills 4250, 4251, and 4252 are intended to reduce distracted-driving crashes and fatalities, making it illegal to “use a mobile electronic device to do any task, including, but not limited to” the following:
Send or receive a telephone call.
Send, receive or read a text message.
View, record or transmit a video.
Access, read or post to a social networking site.
The law makes holding or using a cell phone while driving a primary offense, meaning an officer could pull someone over and ticket them for this offense. The law specifically states, however, that police would not be allowed to search a driver solely because of this violation.
The legislation defines holding a cell phone or electronic device as physically supporting it with “any part of the hands, arms or shoulders.”
Drivers caught violating the rules would face fines and/or be required to perform community service.
If a person is caught holding or using a cell phone, or mobile electronic device, while driving a regular motor vehicle, they would face the following fines:
First violation: $100 fine or 16 hours of community service, or both.
Second or subsequent violation: $250 fine or 24 hours of community service, or both.
If 3 violations occur within a 3-year period: The driver would be ordered by the court to complete a drive-improvement course.
If a person driving a commercial vehicle or a school bus is caught holding or using a cell phone, they would face the following fines:
First violation: $200 fine or 32 hours of community service, or both.
Second or subsequent violation: $500 fine or 48 hours of community service, or both.
Under the legislation, if a crash were to occur and the at-fault driver was holding or using a cell phone while driving, any civil fines would be doubled.
There are a few exceptions to the rules:
Law enforcement, first responders and other emergency workers would not be prohibited from using a cell phone while performing official duties.
Anyone calling or texting 911 to report an emergency or seek help.
Feel free to contact the MI Chamber team if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.