Officials push to outlaw holding cell phone while driving

'Get your head out of your app'
Posted at 7:00 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 19:00:07-04

BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of Michiganders every year. In fact, state police say the top-three causes of traffic crashes in metro Detroit are excessive speed, distracted driving and following too closely.

Several elected officials from Wayne County and various law enforcement agencies met at the Brownstown Police Department Thursday afternoon to get the message out that they’ll be out in force to crack down on distracted driving.

As officials pointed out, distracted driving is against the law, which also includes texting and driving.

But there is no law in Michigan against holding your phone while operating your vehicle. The group said there should be.

“It’s not normal to hold your phone and endanger people’s lives or text at the intersection. That’s not normal, and so that is abnormal. So, we want to change what the new normal is," Wayne County Commissioner Raymond Basham told 7 Action News.

They want a change in people’s behavior behind the wheel but also a change in the law.

Basham said there are three bills that passed the state House that ban drivers from holding a phone while driving. The bills are waiting to be heard in the Senate.

Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington said, “It only takes a second. It only takes one second to be distracted for something bad to happen.”

Lt. Mike Shaw said, “The ultimate punishment is if you’re driving distracted and you kill somebody, that’s it. You’re going to prison, and it’s going to affect you for the rest of your life. So, as we like to say here in the MSP, get your head out of your app.”

Washington told 7 Action News, “We’re not out here to write a bunch of tickets because we’re looking for revenue or any of that or the things people say. We’re not doing that. We’re trying to save lives.”

Basham said people ought to utilize their phone’s feature that sends an automatic text message and lets people know they are driving.