Dear NMA Michigan Members,
Next Tuesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be meeting and one of the bills under their consideration is HB 4466, a bipartisan bill that for all intents and purposes will not allow motorists to hold and use any personal electronic device while operating a vehicle. We ask that you contact committee members by email or phone TODAY and MONDAY (especially if they are your elected representative) to ask them to oppose HB 4466. Here is a link to the Committee Page.
The NMA is opposed to HB 4466 because responsible drivers understand the consequences of potential distractions and respond in an appropriately safe manner for conditions. We do not recommend using a handheld electronic device while operating a vehicle but distracted driving should not be a predetermined offense. If the level of distraction – whether talking on a phone, fiddling with the environmental or entertainment system controls, staring at roadside signs, or engaging in a discussion with a passenger – reaches a point that the driver is no longer safely and responsibly driving his or her car, they are guilty of distracted driving and any other violations that may result from their inattentiveness.
Here are some specific issues that HB 4466 addresses:
- HB 4466 adds holding, not just using, a personal electronic device as a violation
- The bill strikes “vehicle that is moving” language and applies the handheld electronic device prohibition to all vehicles in operation on the road, including those that are temporarily stationary (sitting at a stop light for instance)
- Voice-operated and hands-free devices still appear to be permitted in addition to mounted devices with features that can be operated with a single hand swipe or finger tap
- The penalties for violation would increase dramatically: First violations would go from $100 to $250 and second violations from $200 to $500
Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights in Michigan!