NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New hands-free driving law in effect

A law that bans holding phones or other electronic devices while driving takes effect today.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the law so it would take effect in time for the July 4th holiday weekend. It expands Michigan’s ban on texting while driving to include holding a device.

There is an exception for reporting an emergency. Devices can be used in hands-free mode. Supporters say the new law will save lives. And Katie Bower with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says the new law could also have an effect on auto insurance premiums.

“Insurance costs in states where this has been enacted, those states have seen insurance costs go down.” said Bower.

Bower says her office is also trying to draw attention to other types of distractions that take eyes off the road that are unsafe, but not illegal.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.