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MI Car Legal Matters - With Committee Vote, Michigan Closer to Banning Texting While Driving

Many times throughout the legal career of an experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer, it is common to represent a number of people who have sustained severe personal injury in a car accident. Many of these accidents were preventable, as they were caused by the at-fault driver operating their vehicle while distracted by a cell phone or text messaging. As the issue of distracted driving comes center stage in national news, many states, including Michigan, are taking proactive measures to curb the practice among their residents.

On March 18th, the Michigan House Transportation Committee passed legislation that prohibits all drivers from reading and sending text messages while driving, as a measure to curb Michigan car accidents. If passed, motorists caught texting while driving will have to pay a $100 fine for the first offense, and $200 for the second offense. It would carry no points toward a Michigan drivers license, and could only be used as a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement officials are only allowed to issue a ticket for texting if the driver was pulled over for another violation. It is important to note, however, that some violations are as a result of texting while driving, such as crossing into another lane or impeding traffic when a driver fails to go once a light turns green. If the police officer wants to write you a ticket for texting while driving, he will most likely be able to write a ticket for another offense as well.

Senate Bill 468 is currently in front of the Michigan House of Representatives for a full vote. If passed, it will then go to the Michigan Senate for a vote of concurrence. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has indicated on numerous occasions that she supports the proposed legislation, and intends on signing it into state law. However, AAA Michigan doesn’t believe that the measures are enough–they are in favor of making texting while driving a primary offense in all fifty states. According to AAA Michigan Traffic Safety Manager Jack Peet, “Text messaging is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Yet, many surveys show that an alarming number of drivers do it.”

As a hard-working Detroit car accident lawyer, driver safety is a top-concern. Therefore, all motorists are highly encouraged to pay the utmost attention to the roadways while operating a motor vehicle. Failure to do so can have devastating consequences, resulting in life-altering personal injuries. For answers to the many questions an injured person will undoubtedly have, as well as the best legal advice and legal representation, it is essential to contact trustworthy legal counsel as soon as possible. Doing so can help ensure the most successful outcome to your personal injury claim.