Bipartisan Package Now Moves to Michigan Senate for Consideration

LANSING, Mich.  January 25, 2021 —Today, the Michigan House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass HBs 4277, 4278, and 4279 – a package of bills which would ban drivers from using a cell phone handset while driving, except when individuals are reporting emergencies.

The bills – sponsored by state Reps. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), Mike Mueller (R-Linden), and Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe), respectively – revise current Michigan law, which only prohibits cell phone use for individuals with learner’s permits or restricted licenses.

“Distracted driving is a danger to drivers, passengers, road crews and pedestrians alike,” said Rep. Manoogian. “This legislation serves as both a way to encourage better behavior from drivers on our roads and allows our law enforcement to keep those who are driving distracted in check.”

“These bills are not about restricting freedom; they are about saving lives,” said Rep. Mueller. “These bills are about changing habits and educating the public of the dangers associated with distracted driving.”

“We need to change the culture of driving,” said Rep. Bellino. “This is an important step in the natural evolution of protecting Michigan motorists.”

“On behalf of the Kiefer Foundation, my son Mitchel, and the thousands of other victims of distracted driving, we are pleased to support an effective, enforceable hands-free bill that will save lives in Michigan” said Steve Kiefer, Chairman of the Kiefer Foundation. “Hands-free laws have been effective at reducing crashes and saving lives in 25 states as well as every developed nation around the world – it is time for Michigan to get on board with bipartisan support, and get this bill passed into law this year.”

“AAA-The Auto Club Group applauds the Michigan House of Representatives for passing these three bills,” said Tiffany Hauser, Director of Government Relations, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Distracted driving remains a growing traffic safety problem here in Michigan. Our research shows that education and legislation are key factors in changing driving behavior. Legislation like this will help prevent drivers from becoming another statistic.”

The bills now move to the Michigan Senate, where they will be referred to committee.