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Michigan State Police issue 94 distracted driving tickets in law’s first week

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(The Center Square) – The Michigan State Police issued nearly 100 distracted driving tickets in the new law’s first week in effect.

Documents obtained through the records request show 94 tickets issued between June 30 and June 11 statewide.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the law in June. The law restricts cellphone use while driving, other than for exceptions such as hands-free use, emergency use, using a device’s navigation feature as long as the information isn’t entered by hand, or using a single button press, tap, or swipe to activate or deactivate a device or to select a name or phone number.

Violations could result in a civil fine, community service, points assessed on the driver’s driving record, a mandatory driver’s course, or even a license suspension.

The goal is to reduce distracted driving and fatalities. About 2,765 motor vehicle crashes occurred in Michigan in 2021 where a driver was using a cellphone, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. Twenty-one of those crashes involved a fatality.

Three and a half years after the bill’s effective date, the Michigan State Police must submit a report to the Senate majority leader, the House speaker, and the governor that includes the number of citations given for violations, the race and ethnicity of the individuals given those citations, and the number of vehicle crashes, serious injuries, and deaths caused by those violations.

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