Detroit Texting While Driving Traffic Tickets
In this article our experienced Traffic attorneys explain texting laws in Detroit and Michigan – along with current penalties for texting while driving.
Every Michigan driver should know that it is against the law for any driver in Michigan to text while driving anywhere in Michigan – including Detroit. The fine for texting while driving is $100 for a first offense, and then $200 for subsequent texting traffic tickets.
Texting is defined to include using any wireless communication device in the driver’s hand or lap to read, write, or send a text message.
Exceptions to Texting Traffic Ticket Laws
In Michigan there are a few limited situations – or “exceptions” – when you can text while driving and not be subject to a traffic ticket:
- Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazard.
- Reporting a situation in which you believe your personal safety is in jeopardy.
- Reporting the potential perpetration of a criminal act against yourself or another person.
And, of course police officers, law enforcement officials, member of paid or volunteer fire departments, and operators of an emergency vehicles are also allowed to text if it is in the performance of their official duties.
What Constitutes Texting for Getting a Traffic Ticket?
Michigan’s Law 257.602.b states that a driver shall not “read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street”
This means that even reading a text message can be grounds for receiving a text message. And you do not even need to be holding the cell phone – it can also be in your lap for you to receive a traffic ticket.
When Can I Be Pulled over for a Texting Traffic Ticket?
Michigan’s texting law is considered a “primary” traffic offense. This means that a police officer can pull you over for texting without having to witness any other violation. If the officer sees you texting they can issue a citation.
However, the current law is unclear on whether other use of your cell phone – such as using Google maps, checking email or browsing Facebook is also a texting violation. But this is soon to change with the enactment of stricter laws.
Changes to Texting Traffic Ticket Laws
Michigan’s lawmakers have repeatedly tried to introduced new, stricter laws prohibiting use of any handheld cell phones anywhere in the State, such as proposed House Bill 4466 of 2017 which would have imposed fines of $250 to $500, plus up to driver’s license 2 points for anyone convicted of using any handheld wireless device (including cell phones) while driving, for any reason, anywhere in Michigan.
That new law would allow single-swipe use of cell phones if they are mounted on a windshield or dashboard. And, people would still be allowed to make calls using hands-free means, such as a Bluetooth. That new law proposed to assess a fine of $250 for a first offense, and a fine of $500 plus one driver’s license point for a second offense. Additional cell phone traffic tickets would have a $500 fine and two points under that proposed bill.
House Bill 4466 went to “committee” in March 2017 and is still there. So it remains to be seen what new cell phone laws, if any, will be put in effect in Michigan on a Statewide bases.
Best Traffic Attorneys in the Detroit Area
If you have received a ticket for texting or cell phone use in Detroit, or anywhere on Michigan, your next step should be to talk to an experienced traffic lawyer. Our Detroit area traffic attorneys are committed to offering you the most effective representation in your traffic ticket case, at the most affordable prices. And your first consultation with a traffic attorney is always FREE.