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Michigan’s New Distracted Driving Law is Now in Effect, Here’s What to Know

June 30, 2023

MICHauto has long-supported legislation to prevent distracted driving and was in attendance as it was signed into law on June 6th. Today, the legislation takes effect.

Learn more about the new law below.

Detroit Free Press
June 30, 2023
Arpan Lobo

Michigan’s distracted driving laws will change beginning Friday, June 30. Here’s what you need to know about new rules aimed at reducing crashes and fatalities on the state’s roadways:

What is Michigan’s new distracted driving law?

Beginning June 30, it will be prohibited in Michigan to use a cellphone while driving, unless it’s being used via a hands-free program or device, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or a physical phone mount for those driving vehicles without connectivity features.

This means drivers cannot text, scroll through social media apps, hold their phones up to make calls (with some exceptions, more on that later) or do anything else that requires them to physically hold the device while driving. This includes while being stopped at a red light or stop sign.

How is this different from before?

The new distracted driving law expands on Michigan’s existing ban on texting and driving. Advocates for the new law say it brings the state’s policy closer to modern technology standards.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes — there are exceptions for making emergency calls or reporting a crime taking place. Emergency responders, like police officers and ambulance drivers, are also excluded from the new law, so long as any device use pertains to their actual work responsibilities. Additionally, utility workers are also excluded from the distracted driving law with the same caveat.

What are the penalties for distracted driving?

  • Drivers cited for violating the new distracted driving law will have to pay a fine — a $100 civil fine for first-time offenders and/or 16 hours of community service, followed by $250 fines for each subsequent violation, and/or 24 hours of community service.
  • Fines would be doubled if the penalty occurs during a car crash.
  • Fines are also greater for school bus and commercial vehicle drivers.

Anyone who commits three violations of the distracted driving law in a three-year span would have to take a basic driving instruction course to avoid having their license revoked.

RELATED: MICHauto-Supported Distracted Driving Legislation Signed Into Law

RELATED: MICHauto Statement on the Passage of Distracted Driving Legislation