Detroit Evening Report: Michigan Senate approves ban on drivers using cell phones

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Man looks at cell phone in camera mode while driving.

The Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to ban drivers in the state from using or holding their cellphones while operating a vehicle, with the goal of reducing accidents due to distracted drivers.

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The bill now makes its way to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk as it already passed the House earlier this month.

The bill will also make Michigan the 26th state in the nation to adopt this type of law. Currently, Michigan law prohibits drivers from reading, typing or sending text messages. The new policy will expand the ban and include using a device to make or receive phone calls or to access, read or post on social media.

Under the new law, violators would face the following penalties:

  • The first violation would be a $100 fine or 16 community hours.
  • Second violation is a $250 fine and 24 community service hours.
  • Third violation will result in a court-ordered driver improvement course.

There are exceptions for emergency situations, law enforcement or emergency personnel, if you are using a device in a voice operated or hands-free mode, and if your device is placed on a dashboard mount.

Other headlines for May 11, 2023:

  • More than 120K Michigan tax filers part of Turbo Tax fraud settlement
  • Dearborn hosting children’s business fair
  • Monroe Street Midway activities return May 18

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.