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Michigan Texting While Driving Law

Texting while driving

Is it okay to text are drive?  The answer may surprise you.

The state of Michigan has stiff penalties for people who read, type or send text messages using a wireless two-way communication device while in a person’s hand or lap while driving a car.   Michigan’s law was signed into effect on the Oprah Winfrey show by former Governor Jennifer Granholm on July 1, 2010.  It joined 14 other states including the District of Columbia in making texting while driving illegal.

Under Michigan’s law, it makes no difference if you are texting while stopped at a traffic light or if you are traveling on 696. Both situations will land you a ticket.

The following is from the Michigan Legislative Website and is the Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949:

257.602b Reading, typing, or sending text message on wireless 2-way communication device prohibited; exceptions; violation as civil infraction; fine; local ordinances superseded.

Currently the law does not address anything besides text messaging.  As mentioned above, there are a few acceptations to the rule, meaning that there are some situations that it is okay to drive and text.

  • Traffic Accidents
    One of the exceptions is when you are reporting a traffic accident, serious road hazard or medical emergency.
  • Believing Your Life Is In Danger
    When you believe that your life is in danger.
  • Report a Criminal Act
    If you need to report that someone is or has committed a crime against you or someone else.
  • Law Enforcement
    A police officer, a member of a paid or volunteer the fire department, an emergency vehicle operator or a law enforcement official to carry out office duties.Typically, Michigan allows all local authorities to discern what to do concerning the no texting law, however, that is not the case for Detroit. The city of Detroit prohibits the use of handheld cell phone while driving.

Penalties for texting while driving in Michigan

For the first offense, the fine is $100 and $200 for any additional offenses. Michigan’s texting law is a “primary” law. A primary law is when a police officer can pull someone over without having a witness of another violation. In other words, if you text and an officer see it, that officer can pull you over and issue a citation.

Have you or anyone you know been pulled over for texting while driving? Please share your experiences below.

If you are facing a charge for texting while driving, you don’t have to face this alone. An experienced defense attorney can make all the difference. Please call me.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000

This article was published on: July 6, 2012 and was last modified April 19, 2016