LANSING — State Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) joined Gov. Whitmer today for a roundtable event on Manoogian’s House Bill 4181, which aims to increase driver safety by curbing distracted driving. The event included a discussion regarding the need for Michigan to take proactive steps to address this growing problem, and allowed residents the opportunity to ask questions about the legislation.

“The law we currently have on the books was written before the proliferation of smartphones – we need a new law that fits our new reality,” said Manoogian. “The number of accidents caused by distracted driving continues to rise every year, and my bill would serve a critical role in decreasing these incidents. I am happy we were able to pass this legislation, but I hope we can also pass a hands-free law that applies to all drivers.”

Manoogian’s bill would ban any driver under the age of 18 from using a cellphone while driving. Currently, the law only applies to individuals with learner’s permits or restricted licenses. The bill defines cellphone use as the act of initiating a call, answering a call or engaging in verbal communication through a phone. The law would not apply to individuals who are reporting accidents or other emergencies. The bill was passed by the House in December and awaits action in the Senate.