Texting while Driving

The ability to use your phone while you are driving is going to change. On June 30, 2023, Michigan drivers will not be allowed to hold or use their cell phones while they are driving their cars. This is an expansion of Michigan’s anti-texting while driving law which was passed in 2010 and increases prohibited activities while a driver is operating a motor vehicle.

Once the law takes affect, anyone who is operating a motor vehicle in Michigan is prohibited from using, or even holding your cell phone while you are driving. This prohibition includes using a phone to send or receive texts, record videos, or access social media. This prohibition just doesn’t apply when the car is moving, it applies anytime the car is on. That includes stopping at stop signs, traffic lights or other traffic control devices.

Like every law, there are some exceptions to the general rule which is discussed above. So, this is what you can do under the new law:

  • Drivers may use a device’s GPS function as long as the information is not entered by hand.
  • All drivers, except those with a level 1 or 2 graduated license, may use their device in hands-free modes as long as they only tap, push, or swipe on their phones once to turn on the hands-free setting.
  • All drivers may use a device for emergency purposes, such as calling 911.
  • Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel may use their phones in the performance of their duties.

If you are caught violating this statute, you will face a civil infraction that includes a $100 fine and/or 16 hours of community service. You will also have 1 point added to your driving record and, should you not learn your lesson from the first infraction, the penalties only increase as your infractions accumulate. Third-time offenders may have to complete a basic driver improvement course.

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