LANSING, Mich., March 23, 2023 — State Reps. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), Mike Mueller (R-Fenton) and Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and state Sens. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), Joseph Bellino Jr. (R-Monroe) and Paul Wojno (D-Warren) sponsored a package of bills to strengthen and modernize Michigan’s distracted driving laws.
House Bill 4250, introduced by Koleszar, and Senate Bill 239, introduced by Bellino, would prohibit a person from using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle or school bus.
“Dangerous incidents tied to distracted drivers continue to increase, making it clear that our state’s motor vehicle laws are out of date and in desperate need of modernization,” Koleszar said. “This legislation is designed to make our roads safer for every driver and passenger in Michigan, and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to crack down on this dangerous behavior.”
“Time and time again, we see tragic automobile accidents due to distracted drivers — oftentimes due to cell phone use,” Bellino said. “Distracted driving reform is clearly needed in our state. It’s time to change the culture of driving.”
HB 4251, introduced by Carter, and SB 240, introduced by Wojno, would prescribe the number of points assigned to a person’s driving record for a second or subsequent violation.
“Michigan’s distracted driving laws need to be updated to ensure the safety of our drivers,” Carter said. “Simply banning texting is not enough with the evolution of technology and the convenience of smartphones. I am hopeful these laws will help to protect our loved ones and get them home safely each day.”
“As a parent of three young drivers, I continually stress to them the importance of being aware of their surroundings and encourage them to share with their friends and peers not to text and drive,” Wojno said.
HB 4252, introduced by Mueller, and SB 241, introduced by Hertel, require the Department of State Police to submit, 42 months after the bill takes effect, a report to the governor and Legislature that includes information related to violations of using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle or school bus.
“With the advancements in technology, these bills are a commonsense idea to help reduce traffic accidents and save lives,” Mueller said.
“Distracted driving impacts our state daily — and the consequences can be deadly,” Hertel said. “I am proud to introduce this legislation with my colleagues to make sure that not only are we holding unsafe drivers accountable but also raising awareness of the importance of keeping eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while driving.”
The House bills have been referred to the House Transportation, Mobility, and Infrastructure Committee, where a hearing is scheduled for April 11. The Senate bills were referred to the Senate’s Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee.