Michigan has joined 14 other states including the District of Columbia in making texting and emailing while driving illegal. The new ordinance goes into effect statewide today, July 1, 2010. First time offenders will be subject to a $100 fine and getting caught a second time worthy of a $200 ticket.
Under the new law, it doesn’t matter if you’re texting while at a stop light or cruising down the I-75, both will get you a ticket. However, dialing and talking on the phone (without a headset) is still legal in Michigan. Apparently police are trained to tell the difference between dialing and texting.
If pulled over, drivers may be asked by the officer to see their phone, but because texting while driving is just a civil infraction and not a crime, they cannot confiscate it.
Let this be a warning to everyone including those in states without this type of law, texting while driving is dangerous anyway. We might all do it, but that doesn’t make it right. Now Michigan drivers need to decide if that text message or email is worth a $100.