I just got this email from AAA of Michigan and thought I should definitely share with the Detroit Mommies readers…
Thanks in part to a national campaign sponsored by AAA, the act of composing, reading or sending electronic text messages while driving will become illegal in Michigan effective Thursday, July 1, 2010.
Michigan joins 27 other states in enacting this legislation, which prohibits behind-the-wheel texting via cell phones, laptop computers plus a host of other wireless communication devices. Certain emergency situations will be exempt.
The Penalties for Texting
Under Michigan law, texting while driving will be classified as a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over and ticketed based on a text messaging offense alone. Violators will face a fine of $100 for a first offense; $200 for subsequent offenses.
Ban Backed by Public
This welcome reform stems from a groundswell of public support – punctuated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s findings attributing nearly 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries in 2008 to distracted driving habits – such as texting.
Additional findings have shown that individuals who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-distracted drivers. Michigan’s new anti-texting law will help reduce this dangerous behavior and lead to safer roadways.
For more information on the dangers of distracted driving, plus tips on managing distractions, AAA encourages you to read The Facts About Distracted Driving.
What’s your opinion?
I applaud this website for raising awareness on this important issue. I also decided to do something about teen (and adult) distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me last fall by a texting driver. That incident changed me but I don’t hate texting. Texting is here regardless of how I feel. 72% of teens text every single day – some over 3000 times a month. The texting drivers I spoke with, including teens and truckers, all said that laws and Big Brother type software devices that “lock down” their phones would not deter them at all. So I built a tool called OTTER to compliment the efforts of legislation and public education. OTTER helps the individual manage their texting at home, in school, at the office, or, most importantly, on our highways.
In response to the epidemic of teen texting and driving, we started our Break the Habit Campaign (https://BTHnow.org ) to raise awareness of this problem thereby educating us all of the dangers. Did you know that 50% of teens interviewed admitted to texting while driving? If 50% admitted to it…how many are actually doing it?
Erik Wood, owner