It is officially illegal to hold and even touch your phone while driving in the state of Michigan.
It is officially illegal to hold and even touch your phone while driving in the state of Michigan. The law was passed in May when the Senate passed three house bills to amend parts of the Michigan Vehicle Code.
Texting and driving is already illegal in Michigan, but that law was outdated because phones had different capabilities back when the law was initially passed. The goal of the new law is to reduce distracted driving crashes and fatalities.
Things like holding your phone, looking at directions, or even just touching your phone can now get you a ticket if police catch you.
“So if you’re really worried about it, I can tell you where your new home for your cell phone is. It’s in your glove box or your trunk,” Michigan State Police said.
Derreo Walker agrees with the new law. He uses the Bluetooth that’s in his car.
“I mean, I am okay with it. I don’t really text and drive or talk and drive,” he said.
The new law says holding or supporting a cell phone or electronic device with any parts of the hands, arms, or shoulders is physically supporting it.
Under the new law, drivers cannot talk on the phone, text, watch or record videos, or look at social media. Law enforcement and first responders are immune to the rules and can use their phones while working. Drivers can use their phones to call 911 for an emergency.
“The first thing I check when I stop is for the people behind me,” driver Kassem Ballout said. “Because they’re always on their phone and I swear they’re going to rear-end me because one time I saw a semi-truck dude on his phone and [he] smashed through six cars on 94.”
“Quiet honestly a lot of our drivers are really overdriving their ability and when you put a cell phone in their hand along with not being that great of a driver, the risk of killing someone is pretty substantially higher,” Lieutenant Michael Shaw said.
For now, tickets start at $100 for first-time offenses. Every time after that it’s a $250 ticket and you’ll need to take a driver’s improvement course if ticketed more than three times in over a three-year period.