Lawmakers propose modernizing Michigan’s texting and driving laws

Lawmakers propose modernizing Michigan’s texting and driving laws

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - State lawmakers are proposing a plan to modernize Michigan’s texting and driving laws. The proposal would update the current laws to include rules related to social media use. As technology advances drivers are becoming more distracted on their phones while behind the wheel.

State Representative Mike Mueller said, “People are more distracted because they get more addicted to their phone because they have the social media apps that are out there like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, checking emails, watching YouTube.”

Michigan law states drivers can’t text and drive, but people have found a loophole to get out of being ticketed.

State Representative Joe Bellino said, “The old law we passed nine,10,11 years ago said no texting. Now, if you get pulled over and an officer sees a phone in your hand you just say ‘I’m on Facebook sir’ or ‘I’m shopping on Amazon’ and that’s not illegal.”

Lawmakers are proposing three bills that will update the law to include social media.

Bellino said, “We would like to change the culture of people driving in Michigan. That is all about saving lives. I don’t want to infringe on your rights. You want to be on your phone? Park the car and be on your phone.”

Mueller said the legislation won’t stop all drivers from being on their phone. He said, “Is it going to prevent people from doing it now? People are still going to do it but there will be consequences associated with it and it’ll also give closure to some of the victims that have been killed by people who have done it.”

Drivers will have to pay the price if they’re caught. If passed, drivers could face up to a $500 fine and points on their license.

Lawmakers said they are looking to have the legislation approved by summer.

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