What is Michigan Distracted Driving Law
Michigan’s distracted driving law prohibits drivers from holding or using a mobile electronic device while behind the wheel. This includes sending or receiving a phone call or text message, watching, recording, or sending a video, or reading or posting on a social networking site. The law went into effect on June 30, 2023.
Michigan Distracted Driving law states:
The bill amends Michigan law to make it illegal to “use a mobile electronic device to do any task, including, but not limited to” the following:
- Send or receive a telephone call.
- Send, receive, or read a text message.
- View, record, or transmit a video.
- Access, read, or post to a social networking site.
The law makes holding or using a cell phone while driving a primary offense — meaning an officer could pull someone over and ticket them for this offense. The new legislation specifically states, however, that police can not search driver’s solely due to this violation.
The legislation defines holding a cell phone or electronic device as physically supporting it with “any part of the hands, arms or shoulders.”
What is the Michigan Fine for Distracted Driving
Drivers caught violating the rules would face fines and/or be required to perform community service.
If a person is caught holding or using a cell phone, or mobile electronic device, while driving a regular motor vehicle, they would face the following fines:
- First violation: $100 fine or 16 hours of community service, or both.
- Second or subsequent violation: $250 fine or 24 hours of community service, or both.
- If 3 violations occur within a 3-year period: The driver would be ordered by the court to complete a drive-improvement course.
If a person driving a commercial vehicle or a school bus is caught holding or using a cell phone, they would face the following fines:
- First violation: $200 fine or 32 hours of community service, or both.
- Second or subsequent violation: $500 fine or 48 hours of community service, or both.
Under the legislation, if a crash were to occur and the at-fault driver was holding or using a cell phone while driving, any civil fines would be doubled.
Michigan Distracted Driving exceptions
There are a few exceptions to the law. Drivers are allowed to use their mobile electronic devices if they are:
- Law enforcement, first responders, and other emergency workers can use a cell phone while performing official duties.
- Anyone calling or texting 911 to report an emergency or seek help.
- Drivers can use their GPS, but only if it’s hands-free. Phones can be used as navigation systems if it is in a hands-free.
- Generally, using voice commands or hands-free modes to use mobile electronic devices is allowed.
Distracted Driving in other states
Finally, driving in other states, click the States texting list to which states have distracted driving laws.
Click the highlighted link for Michigan cellphone use and the special rules that apply to teen drivers using cell phones.