Gov. Whitmer passes new bill that cracks down on distracted driving for teenagers

Every time you turn on your television, there’s a commercial explaining the dangers of texting and driving. AT&T even did a documentary on families whose lives were altered because of distracted driving. The conversations about texting and driving are now turning into action and Michigan is joining in on the fight.

On Dec. 12, Gov. Whitmer passed House Bill 4181 which is centered around teenagers and cell phone usage. The bill will prevent persons under 18 from using their cell phones while operating a vehicle. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), with extensive bipartisan and community support.

Gov. Whitmer shared her sediments on the new house bill and how it will impact Michigan drivers.

“As a mom, there’s nothing more important to me than the safety of my kids, and I know every parent in Michigan feels the same way,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why Rep. Manoogian’s legislation is so important. We don’t just need better roads; we need safer roads. This bill will help us put an end to distracted driving, protect our kids, and ensure the safety of Michigan drivers. It’s my hope that the Michigan Senate will do the right thing and pass this bill so we can protect Michiganders everywhere.”

According to Michigan.gov, there are three types of distracted driving. These include:

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off of what you’re doing

Nationwide, 14% of fatal crashes involved cell phones, 14% of distracted driving deaths were attributed specifically to cell phone use, as opposed to other forms of distracted driving and 4,637 people died in car crashes in 2018 due to cell phone use.

We must emphasize the importance of putting cell phones away while driving to our teenagers. That text message, Instagram story post or Snapchat message is not worth their life. For more information on distracted driving, visit Michigan.gov.

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