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Michigan Bill Would Make Phone-to-Ear Conversations Illegal While Driving

Texting and driving is illegal in Michigan.

And now a new bill could take that ban one step further.

A new bill wants to put an end to cellphone-to-ear conversations to minimize distractions, and hopefully keep people safer on Michigan roads.

“People talking on their cellphones typically resemble a drunk driver,” Traverse City Police Sergeant Steve Sivek. “They’re distracted.”

That’s why state representative Martin Howrylak is sponsoring a distracted driving bill.

If it passes and you want to talk on the phone while driving, it would need to be handless.

“They’ve already implemented in Michigan a similar program for younger drivers, and a lot of times those are the ones we see getting in the most accidents.”

A person could use a phone while driving as long as it’s mounted and voice activated.

Steve Evans thinks cellphone use while driving is increasing distraction since most are touchscreen now.

“On older cars, and I happen to be an older guy, everything was tactile. You could feel the controls, you knew where you were putting them. You never had to take your eyes off the road,” Evans said.

The bill would mean first time offenders get a $250 penalty.    

The second time around would mean $500 and a point on your license.

“I used to ride a motorcycle through the years and I haven’t through the past four or five but I think about getting another motorcycle, and then I think about it again because there’s so much distracted driving and you’re less protected.”

Whether the bill passes or not, the police want to see people take initiative to decrease distracted driving.

“Your wife, your son, your daughter, your husband. They’re out there driving, you don’t want a distracted driver to hit them,” Sivek said.

You can read the bill in its entirety by clicking