DETROIT (WXYZ) — Several law enforcement agencies across Michigan will be participating in an initiative this week aiming to reduce distracted driving.
"Connect to Disconnect," a four-hour distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative, is happening Thursday. It's in support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The Connect to Disconnect initiative is part of the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” media campaign, which reminds drivers of the dangers of distracted driving from April 7 through April 11.
The initiative's goals are to reduce traffic injuries and show “a nationwide commitment to enforcing texting and distracted driving laws.”
During 2020 in Michigan, there were 14,236 crashes involving distracted driving, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. Of those, 48 resulted in deaths. Rear-end collisions accounted for 44.7% of distracted driving crashes.
“We’re hoping this enforcement period will help reduce the ever-increasing number of crashes involving distracted drivers,” said Alicia Sledge, interim director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “At the same time, we will send a reminder that texting while driving in Michigan is illegal, dangerous and deadly.”
Under Michigan law, reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving is prohibited and could result in a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 for later offenses. Exceptions include reporting crashes, crimes and other emergencies.
More information about distracted driving can be found on the state’s website and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.