PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Wednesday morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in Plymouth to sign legislation into law to prevent distracted driving on Michigan roads.
Whitmer was joined by families who have lost loved ones in vehicle crashes involving distracted driving.
The legislation included three bills and would prohibit a person from using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle or school bus. It also provides accountability for drivers who put themselves and others in danger by making related changes regarding commercial vehicles, driving record points, and driver improvement courses.
The new law will require Michigan State Police to submit a progress report on the effectiveness of the new law 3.5 years after it takes effect.
Whitmer’s office says the legislation will make Michigan roads safer for drivers, bicyclers, and pedestrians by ensuring drivers have their full attention on the road with the use of hands-free technology.
"Last year, 1,120 people died on our roads and that's unacceptable. Our goal is to get to zero traffic deaths by 2050," says Whitmer. "Today's legislation will make a real difference, especially for young drivers, who accounted for 8% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2018, even though they were only 5.3% of all licensed drivers."
Whitmer notes 322 people have died in Michigan crashes in 2023 so far.
The new law takes effect on June 30.