State Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Further Crack Down on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving.

You may be guilty of it and if not, you’ve definitely seen it.

Governor Whitmer highlighted the importance of cracking down on distracted driving during her first State of the State speech.

Now a series of bills are making their way through Lansing, aimed at making sure drivers stay focused on the road.

Texting while driving is against the law in the state of Michigan and has been for several years, but there are plenty of other ways a cell-phone can keep drivers distracted.

“They’re on Facebook they are checking their Instagram, all these things are happening as we have more and more congestion on our roadways,” 105th District Representative Triston Cole, said.

While it’s very distracting things like checking your email or scrolling on Instagram while driving are not against the law in Michigan.

Last week, Representative Triston Cole introduced one of the bills (HB-4198) that would change that.

“We are trying to make roadways safer in Michigan, bottom line. I’ve spent a lot of years as a truck driver over 10 years in a semi-seat looking down at vehicles and being in traffic and watching as things changed. People were doing less and less driving and more and more playing on devices,” Cole, explained.

The bill includes increased fines for drivers who get caught. $250 for a first offense.

“Whether you are going on vacation or you’re doing your daily commute to work we need to make sure our roadways are safe,” Cole, added.

Another bill (HB-4181) introduced by democratic Representative Mari Manoogian would go even further and make it against the law to hold your phone while behind the wheel.

If passed, drivers could only make calls via Bluetooth technology.

“I think they need to ban the use of cellphone in your car unless you’re pulled over on the side of the road, I mean nobody is that important. We used to not have cellphones we used to have a [home phone] and nobody had to get a hold of us while we were driving down the road,” Emmet County Resident Melinda Fisher.

Both bills are currently in the hands of the House Transportation Committee.