Hands free laws are becoming popular across the country and now Michigan Governor Grechten Whitmer is hoping for the trend to continue in Michigan. She recently gave her State of the State Address and car crashes are a major concern under her watch. She went on to state that “Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of our young people. You can’t navigate any road if you’re looking at your phone. So in addition to better roads, we need safer roads.
Mari Manoogian is a Representative out of Birmingham, Michigan and is introducing legislation that would ban using mobile phones while driving but also allows drivers to use devices through voice controls or integration with the car’s navigation or user interface. I understand the premise of the law, but I really do wonder about the effectiveness and enforcement of hands-free driving.
It’s been proven that it’s more about the conversation taking your concentration off of driving that is more dangerous than the physical act of answering and holding the phone to your ear. This law really only addresses the physical aspect of talking on the phone will not addressing the real problem. Another potential issue is how are police officers supposed to enforce this? I can see lots of people with older cars and phones being the ones taking the brunt of the arrests. They may not be Bluetooth capable or the car may not have a central user interface.
Also included in this proposal is the prohibition of drivers reading social media, watching a video, or even wearing headphones and listening to music. We will keep you updated about this proposal as it makes its way through the bill process.