Michigan's "No Texting While Driving Law" went into effect on July 1, 2010. Law-enforcement officials can pull over motorists solely for using cell phones to send, receive or read text messages.
Under the new law:
- A person is prohibited from reading, typing or sending text messages on a "wireless 2-way communication device" that is located in a driver's lap or hand while operating a moving motor vehicle on a street or highway (with the exception of emergencies).
- A violation is a civil infraction that results in a $100 fine for a first offense and a $200 fine for a subsequent offense.
- No points will be added to a driver's record for a violation of the ban.
The new law does not prohibit the use of GPS devices affixed to a motor vehicle and does not specifically prohibit the use of a cell phone to make or receive phone calls. Keeping this in mind, drivers should take caution, as they may be accused of "texting" while inputting phone numbers into their cell phones.
As many employees will be driving on the job in company vehicles, employers should update any policies to reflect these changes in the law. Creating a policy may be helpful in reducing or limiting claims that the employer is negligent by not making the employees aware of the new law.