New plans would expand law that bans texting and driving

    New plan would expand law that bans texting and driving.

    MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- Three Michigan lawmakers are trying to expand the law that bans texting while driving.

    Michigan State Representative Triston Cole introduced a plan last week that would add reading an email or sending a message on social media app to the list of banned activities for drivers.

    “It’s time we put our cellphones away while driving – and that includes checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest of it,” Cole said. “Social media can wait until the driving is done. Making this important change to Michigan law will keep our roads safer for everyone by eliminating potential distractions for drivers.”

    Cole's plan would also ban talking on a cellphone for drivers under 18.

    Representative Jason Sheppard introduced another bill that would increase the fines for violating the law.

    Sheppard’s plan increases the penalty from $100 to $250 for a first violation and from $200 to $500 for a second violation up.

    Representative Mari Manoogian introduced a bill as well proposing making it illegal to use a cellphone with your hands while driving.

    Manoogian wants all cellphone usage in vehicle to be hands-free with a couple exceptions will calling in an emergency.

    According to the Traffic Crash Reporting System, in 2017 distracted driving accounted 5,247 crashes of the 39,000 in Michigan.

    23 of the more than 5,000 crashes were fatal and 1,514 resulted in injury.

    House Bill 4198, House Bill 4181 and House Bill 4199 have been referred to the House Transportation Committee.

    Full traffic crash report:

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