Michigan Senate votes on ban on texting while driving to make it a primary offense.
Online PR News – 10-May-2010 – – Texting while driving has become a serious issue in the state of Michigan, causing numerous Michigan car accidents and car accident injuries. After passing both the Senate and the House, the ban on texting while driving makes it punishable as a secondary offense. Drivers must be pulled over for a different reason, such as speeding or driving recklessly, in order to receive a texting ticket.
A new version of the bill was amended by Senate last month to make texting while driving a primary offense, according to state Sen. Roger Kahn. The initial version of the bill did not specify fines, but in the amended version, the Senate pushed for a $100 fine for first time offenders, and $200 for each violation after. They hope the steep fines will provide incentive for drivers to stop distractions while driving and decrease car accidents and car accident injuries.
Michigan State Police support the primary offense version of the bill, stating that it would be a greater deterrent if people could be pulled over for texting.
If the Senate version of the bill passes, the law could go into effect as early as July 1, 2010. Texting while driving is already considered a primary offense in 15 states.
According to research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. These statistics make it easier for drivers to miss a sudden turn or fail to see an obstruction in the road, increasing the number of auto accidents.
An estimated 1.6 million crashes every year are caused by drivers texting and using cell phones, said Sen. John Pappageorge, a supporter of the bill.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 80 percent of auto accidents and 65 percent of near-auto accidents involve some form of driver inattention. The most common distraction is texting while driving.
“If you were in a serious auto accident involving a driver who was texting and have questions about your legal rights, contact an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney before you talk with the insurance company. Signing the wrong papers could mean you have settled for less than you deserve,” says Michigan auto accident lawyer Mark Bernstein.