The Midland Police Department Traffic Safety Team in collaboration with the patrol division will be focusing on distracted driving with a main focus on texting while driving during the month of April. April is recognized as national Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This event is being promoted and enforced all across the United States.
According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC), there were 7,516 crashes in Michigan during 2015 involving distracted driving, resulting in 28 fatalities and 3,472 injuries. Cell phones were involved in 753 crashes, with three fatalities and 377 injuries.
Michigan law prohibits a driver from reading, manually typing, or sending a text message while driving. Driving is defined as: operating a moving motor vehicle on a street or highway. Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes or other emergencies.
Michigan law prohibits Level 1 and Level 2 license holders under the Graduated Driver Licensing program from using a cell phone while driving.
- Violations are a civil infraction and fees and may be up to $240.
- No points are assessed on a driving record.
- Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes, medical emergencies, serious road hazards, and situations where a person believes his or her personal safety is in jeopardy.
- Voice-operated systems integrated into the vehicle are exempt.
In addition to texting, distracted driving can include:
- Eating and drinking
- Attending to children
- Reading, including maps
- Talking to passengers
- Changing the radio
The focus of this campaign is to raise awareness and to reduce the amount of distracted driving crashes.
Any questions can be directed to Community Relations Sergeant Chris Wenzell at 989-839-4704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.