GRAND RAPIDS. Mich. (WOOD) — Put the phone down. That’s the message from local law enforcement and some state lawmakers.
The Michigan House passed new distracted driving legislation Tuesday that looks to modernize the state’s current distracted driving laws.
The package passed would include restrictions on social media usage and increase the fines and consequences for repeat offenders.
As the legislation heads to the state Senate, local law enforcement continues to remind drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
“(In 2021), we investigated twice as many crashes in reference to distracted driving than we do alcohol related,” Sgt. Eric Brunner with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said.
Brunner said they do their best to enforce distracted driving laws during routine traffic stops, but said most citations are issued after a crash has already happened.
His message to drivers — especially teens — is to remove the temptation by putting your phone out of sight.
“It’s easier said than done, I get it, I’m a human and I have my faults too,” Brunner said. “But when we take our phone and we’re on it, regardless of if it’s social media or texting … we’re one step closer to consciously saying, ‘Well it’s not a big deal if I hurt someone else.'”