Michigan begins texting ban

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on April 30 signed an anti-texting bill into law, making the state the 24th with such a ban. The newly signed legislation explicitly prohibits a person from reading, writing or sending text messages while driving a vehicle in Michigan.

Under the ban, texting while driving is a secondary offense that allows law enforcement officials to ticket drivers if they are pulled over for another offense. The new law prohibits texting while driving for drivers of all ages, except in the case of an emergency.

Research compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed an estimated 6,000 deaths and half-a-million injuries to distracted driving in 2008 alone.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched pilot programs in New York and Connecticut as part of a “Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.” campaign to study whether increased enforcement and public awareness can reduce distracted driving behavior.

Last month, Iowa, Kentucky and Nebraska enacted laws to prohibit texting while driving.

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