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Michigan's New Texting Ban Effective July 1, 2010

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Patricia J. Scott
Foster Swift Information Technology Law E-News
July 22, 2010

As you likely know, Michigan's new texting ban went into effect July 1, 2010. The new law prohibits reading, manually typing, and sending a text message on a "wireless 2-way communication device" located in a person's hand or lap while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a Michigan highway or street.

A "wireless 2-way communication device" does not include navigation or global positioning systems affixed to the motor vehicle.

Additionally, there are several exceptions to the ban. The following activities are explicitly not prohibited by the new law:

  1. reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazard;
  2. reporting a situation in which the individual believes his/her personal safety is at risk;
  3. reporting or averting the commission or potential commission of a crime against the individual or another person; and
  4. carrying out official duties as a police officer, law enforcement official, member of the fire department, or operator of an emergency vehicle.

The penalty for the first offense carries a $100.00 fine, and a $200.00 fine for second and subsequent offenses.

If you have questions about the texting ban, feel free to contact any member of Foster Swift’s Information Technology team.