April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month so what better time than now to re-evaluate where our laws on texting and driving fall short or where they potentially over-reach?
MLive reports updates to the state’s laws regarding texting-and-driving will be debated in the Michigan House in an effort to modernize and keep up with advancing technology.
Vehicles nowadays, especially brand new ones, are often like driving a giant smartphone when it comes to the “info-tainment” systems and amenities in place. However, vehicle manufacturers have also been finding more ways to make it so you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road to handle your device.
Options like hands-free devices, even being able to control your music with buttons on the steering wheel or with your voice and more are being added and perfected every day to cut down on distracted driving which is exactly why MLive reports House Bills 4277, 4278 and 4279 will work to address things like that.
To be more specific, MLive says these bills “would add exemptions for hands free devices, expand prohibitions for social media usage while driving and add additional fines for violations.”
The Bills, while MLive reports a fair amount of support from both sides of the aisle as of Tuesday, April 13th, the enforceability of these laws has been called into question…and for valid reasons.
Basically, officers would have a hard time observing just what activity drivers were doing on their phones, they could lie, use the good old “just my GPS” excuse and there would be no real way for officers to confirm without a search warrant.
Despite potential challenges, Representative Mike Mueller (who is co-sponsoring the bills) acknowledges people can lie all they want but adds “at the end of the day, what we’re again trying to do is curb the cultural behavior to prevent death because of people using their phones while driving at 70 or 80 miles per hour.”
Texting and driving or just distracted driving in general is the cause of so many accidents, so much destruction and so much death across America and as these Bills continue to be deliberated, we hope we can get some concrete, realistic laws in place!
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