Police see mixed results with new hands-free law


It’s been one year since the state of Michigan introduced the new hands-free law, and Michigan State Police are still seeing distracted driving.

MSP Fifth District Public Information Officer DuWayne Robinson says troopers continue to see people using their phones or other objects in their hand while driving. A few weeks ago, the fifth post wrote 8-10 citations along with giving out warnings about the new law, and Robinson said they’re continuing to educate people about it.

We will continue to drive home that fact,” Robinson said. “We’ll continue to stop violators. We will hold those accountable who need to be held accountable, and we’ll keep working until we get 100% compliance. We probably won’t reach that, but that is our unyielding goal.”

Berrien County Undersheriff Greg Sanders says they sheriff’s department is still seeing people accessing their phones while driving, but he believes it’s been decreasing. Berrien County sheriff’s deputies go around specifically looking for people using their phones while driving.

Sanders noted that although people are aware of the law, there still needs to be more education on it.

We’re coming up on the year anniversary and we would still like to get this information out and remind people that Michigan has gone to a hands-free driving law, one-touch application for their phone, social media, reading or sending text messages or emails or watching, recording or sending videos is against the law in Michigan,” Sanders said.

The Michigan Hands-Free Law makes it illegal to manually use a cell phone or other mobile device while operating a vehicle on Michigan roads.

Sanders said as this law is a primary offense in Michigan. Violators can be fined up to $100 or 16 hours of community service on a first offense, and penalties can increase up to as much as completing a driving improvement course if a driver has three-violations within a three-year period.