Michigan Updates Distracted Driving Law Raising Fines for Offenders

The act of driving distracted will cost offenders more now. Yesterday morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, signed into law a new updated distracted driving law for Michigan drivers. Using a cell phone while driving has been illegal for a number of years in the state, but now there will be no expectations for sending a text while on the road.

“Well texting and driving in the state of Michigan has been illegal since 2010. I believe it’s been impactful, from a law enforcement perspective. Distracted driving, nationally, there were over 3,000 individuals were killed because of distracted driving in the country. I believe this law has the potential to help save lives. Not only from the enforcement side, but I think this opens up opportunities for education, especially for our young drivers. And it’s important that we educate our families, teens and young adults, that you see using a mobile device while driving. That it is much safer to be hands-free.” – Joshua Saaranen, Houghton County Sheriff

The update to the law puts an emphasis hands free technology. Making Michigan the 26 state to implement hands free driving laws, by amending the current law. Making it illegal to drive and use a mobile device for any task. Drivers that do not have hands free technology in their vehicle should pull over off of the road before using a mobile device.

“If they don’t have hands-free technology in their vehicle, there are exceptions for individuals who are reporting a crime that they are witness too. And they will be able to swipe and use that phone app only in that type of situation. But otherwise, i would encourage people that don’t have hands-free devices, to pull over into a parking lot before sending out the email or text, or anything like that.” – Joshua Saaranen, Houghton County Sheriff

The updated distracted driving law will take effect June 30th. First time offenders will pay a one hundred dollar fine, along with completing 16 hours of community service. A second time offense will include a 250 dollar fine, and 24 hours community service. A third offense within a three year period will require the driver to complete a court mandated driver improvement course. Find more information on the updated law here.