Today, State Reps. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), Mike Mueller (R-Linden), and Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe) introduced HBs 4277, 4278, and 4279, a package of bills which would ban all drivers from using a cell phone while driving, except in cases where individuals are reporting accidents or other emergencies.

“Distracted driving is a danger to every person on Michigan’s roads, and our current laws simply don’t do enough to keep people from using their mobile devices while driving,” said Rep. Manoogian. “Ensuring the safety of Michigan drivers is not a partisan issue, and it’s time that we give law enforcement the tools necessary to properly dissuade people from driving while using their cell phones. I’m grateful to be able to introduce this package in a bipartisan manner so that we can finally make Michigan a hands-free driving state.”

Current Michigan law applies only to individuals with learner’s permits or restricted licenses. Together, these bills define cell phone use as the act of initiating a call, answering a call, or engaging in verbal communication through a phone, and ban distracted driving.

“As a former deputy sheriff, I have seen the devastation caused by unsafe driving,” said Rep. Mueller. “With today’s vehicle and cellular communication advancements, this is common sense legislation that will help ensure the safety of drivers in the state of Michigan.”

“It’s time to change our culture when it comes to driving and electronic devices,” said Rep. Bellino. “This goes a long way in making a difference.

“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.”