Lawmakers propose bill to crackdown on distracted driving - WNEM TV 5

Lawmakers propose bill to crackdown on distracted driving

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

State lawmakers are considering further limits on the use of mobile devices behind the wheel.

It's already against the law to text and drive, but a new bill would make it illegal for a driver to have a smartphone in their hand for any reason.

"I think it's a good idea. I have a son that's been hit twice by somebody driving a car and being on a cell phone," said Joyce Peterson, resident.

Peterson supports new state legislation designed to crackdown on distracted driving.

"What's so important that you have to be on that phone and not pay attention to what's on the road," Peterson said.

If the bill becomes law drivers would be fined $250 for using their smartphone for any reason. A second offense results in a $500 fine and one point on your driver's license. Any offense after that is a $500 fine and two points on your license.

Inside the numbers - 2016 distracted driving statistics:

  • Genesee County had 469 crashes resulting in 200 injuries and one fatality.
  • Saginaw County had 253 crashes with 81 injuries.
  • Bay County had 174 accidents with 69 injuries.
  • Midland County had 107 crashes with 47 injuries and one death.

The Michigan State Police support the bill. The agency believes injuries and deaths from distracted driving will only increase if something is not done to stem the tide.

The bill allows for use of hands-free devices like bluetooth.

As for Peterson, she said her son is still dealing with injuries from his accidents. She wants to see the proposed measure become law.

"I hope the bill goes through," Peterson said.

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