Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

March 20, 2009 -

A Michigan State Senator has proposed legislation that would ban texting or playing video games while driving, reports ClickOn Detroit.

Sen. Buzz Thomas (D), the sponsor of the measure, said:

There is no need to be sending a text while driving your car, it’s one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. If it’s really that important, pull over and send your message, or just wait until you get to where you are going.

 

This is the second session in which I have introduced this bill, and hopefully we can all realize the urgency and just get this passed.

If the bill becomes law, violations would carry a $100 fine.


Comments

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

"Bout time dammit! By the way, how many folks are dumb enough to be playing video games while on the road? They'd qualify for the Darwin Awards for sure.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

I agree, if you're driving, you need to be freaking driving. Once almost had a guy drift into my lane and clip me but I was able to brake fast enough to avoid it. The guy had a cigar in one had a cell phone in the other and flipping through some papers looking for something, no hands on the wheel and only very occasionally glacing up to see what was going on.

I'm not saying we need specific laws for everythign that mght distract you but we definitely need laws saying if you're driving a car, the vast majority of your attention should be on driving not smoking, talking on a cell phone and looking for a document all at the same time.

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Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

Good, but I think we need broader coverage in these sorts of laws. If you're driving, you should be driving. Nothing else.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

Huh. No more playing my DS at red lights, I suppose.

*Looks around*

What? Those things last a long time!

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

 Seems like a good law to pass. As Arell said, police should obviously not be spending time actively looking for this sort of thing, that would be a waste. If they happen to see someone then they can give them a fine and hopefully it will keep that person a little wary of doing it again.

By the way, the other state was Hawaii. 

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

I don't see a problem with this law. Seems like common sense to me.

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

I agree, no texting. Although with talking on the phone I think it should be approached diffrently. If they're speeding or driving recklessly while on the phone, pull 'em over and fine their arse. But if they're perfectly fine, I don't think it's neccasary.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

I approve.  Unfortunately, it might get voted down, just like a similar law in another State.  It was voted against because the legislators thought it would be impossible to enforce, or would distract police from looking for more serious threats.

I say, have it on the books.  IF, a police officer happens to see it occuring, then they can pull the person over.  But otherwise they shouldn't go out of their way to look for it.  The threat of a fine alone would stop most of these idiot drivers from doing it.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

What is the world coming too? A law with some semblence of sanity in Michigan, the state where they thought raseing taxes would improve the economic state of the state?

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

It's called distracted driving, and there's a good chance there's already a law about that on the books. There's no need to give gaming and texting higher penalties just because they're gaming and texting. It'd be like putting a higher penalty on eating a sandwich while driving, because it's eating a sandwich.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

I see that sort of shit all the time around here and in nearly every case, its a woman in her 20s with her phone out. If they weren't often so damn cute, I'd suggest banning women in their 20s

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

Good luck enforcing it.

When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Over here in the UK, it is only enforced by police and probably requires them to have caught them on the onboard dash-camera to prove it.  In the case of phones and texting etc, a recent case has proven that looking at your sent message logs which are obtained by police in an investigation can prove if you were distracted in the run up to any accident if a phone is found at the scene.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

My state has a Senator named Buzz? Well, ya learn something new every day.

Despite that you shouldn't need to legislate common sense, eh, go for it. It's thanks to people hw ocan't spell that we need this law. Damned teens.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

You insult an entire age group and imply that they can't spell, while making a major typo yourself?

This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

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Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

What a great way to waste more money, especially when Michigan is one of those states on the verge of bankruptcy.  What they obviously need is a law nearly impossible to enforce.  What's next?  No checking your map while driving?  No using a GPS while driving?  This boggles my mind.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

"What's next?  No checking your map while driving?"

Abso-bloody-lutely.  This is 'Driving without due care and attention' in the UK and is an insta-fine and points on your license.  If you cause an accident doing it, you can expect to lose your license.

"No using a GPS while driving?"

If it means taking your eyes off the road and both hands off the steering wheel to do it, yes again
.  If it is a quick press of a button akin to turning on a radio, changing gears or flicking on your headlights, no.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

I've driven cross country (and other countries, really) many times, and never had a problem with looking at my wheel for half a second to read a map. 

This is a moronic law because its unenforceable.  The only time it IS enforceable is when someone gets in an accident and you find a game system or phone nearby, which is still not a great premise in court seeing as I drive with my phone on the seat under my leg.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Actually it is very enforcable.  The police have dash-cams and film you on the phone or with the map in front of your face and that's that.  A quick glance at a map isn't going to get you any trouble though if you really are not being distracted from the road ahead.  As for your phone under your leg, not a problem.  They can get access to your phone records to prove or disprove you were texting while driving.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Chuma, I've hung out with the UK police at the PEELE CENTER and know all their tricks.  Trust me, the dash cam can't tell whether or not I'm on the phone.  Half the time they can't differentiate between a piece of pizza or a large knife on your dashboard or in your hand. 

As for the phone under the leg, a common thing police have claimed (UK and US) is that the phone was being used to text before the car accident or whatever happened, but the text wasn't sent and was deleted before they got to the scene.  Sure, you could go to court and argue with the cop or bobby about whether you were breaking the law or not, but in the end that'll be more costly than just paying the ticket, even though the charges are false.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Strange how all those police camera action programs in the UK clearly show people driving along with mobile phones then eh?

And as for your analogy about the police saying the text was deleted, this goes into the realms of fantasy where thye prosecution come up with a case that is based entirely on supposition and that a judge will happily side with said police without any evidence whatsoever.  Reality however is that you are wrong.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

You do realize that for Police Camera Action programs (I'm assuming you're talking about TV shows similar to COPS in America) they often pick out a car that has the newest camera, often actually seperating the usual driver from it in favor of a more clean cut person with a more pressed uniform and more photogenic face, and in many instances (especially in America) they will have a higher resolution camera installed.  That's why shows like COPS, police chase shows, etc seem to happen repeatedly in the same damn cities/counties/states (depending on if we're following Police, Sheriffs, or highway patrolmen), because these are the cities or counties that have a patrol car or two with high resolution cameras.  Fact of the matter is, police love shows that host their more high-res dashboard cams because they are somewhat of a deterrent from crime.  The average person will believe that ALL dashboard cams are that high-res.  Really, very few are.

Also, I don't know if you know this, but in most court cases, judges will side with the police before they'll side with you. Theoretically, THE POLICE should be having to prove wrongdoing on your part, and you shouldn't have to prove a thing.  However, it is more common that YOU, the citizen, will have to prove that THE POLICE did something improper.  Some of the easiest things to disprove are Assured Clear Distance (this is the basic ticketing basis for any rear-end collision, basically it says that the driver didn't keep the suggested or safe distance from the back of the car in front of him), speeding tickets involving a radar gun (these have to be calibrated every week or two, but many officers don't do so, meaning you can get off scott free if you call their bullshit, or else you end up paying the ticket AND 40-100 dollars for the court costs, plus wasting an hour in a court room), and if you know what you're doing you can disprove parking violations too (in every parking area that has those damn machines that you have to feed change to, there's at least 4 that are broken.  Park there.  If they pick up your car, tell them where you were parked, say that you put the money in anyway, and demand the return of your car).

 

Also, my 'supposition' is based on my Doctorate in criminology, the many conferences I attend, the many court cases I've sat through (occasionally, I'll just go to the justice center and kill an hour before lunch with some colleagues watching traffic cases and domestic disputes, its funnier than hell really), all the cops I work with, all the cops who do research with me, all the cops who often bring their rifles (both work rifles and their personal rifles) to me for some minor work, etc, etc, etc.  Of course, my knowledge of UK's police comes from two weeks I spent at the Peele center comparing their policing to ours.  Basically, they're more about verbally controlling a situation, rather than using force, although I did watch an older officer handcuff my ex-football playing friend.  Tons of fun, really.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Your eagerness to prove your point without offering facts, only "I know better than you" assertions is as amusing to me as your paranoia.

We DO have these laws in the UK and they ARE enforced.  Sorry to have to break that fact to you as I know it is somewhat damaging to your several chunks of text full of misnoma.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

You do realize that for Police Camera Action programs (I'm assuming you're talking about TV shows similar to COPS in America) they often pick out a car that has the newest camera, often actually seperating the usual driver from it in favor of a more clean cut person with a more pressed uniform and more photogenic face, and in many instances (especially in America) they will have a higher resolution camera installed.  That's why shows like COPS, police chase shows, etc seem to happen repeatedly in the same damn cities/counties/states (depending on if we're following Police, Sheriffs, or highway patrolmen), because these are the cities or counties that have a patrol car or two with high resolution cameras.  Fact of the matter is, police love shows that host their more high-res dashboard cams because they are somewhat of a deterrent from crime.  The average person will believe that ALL dashboard cams are that high-res.  Really, very few are.

Also, I don't know if you know this, but in most court cases, judges will side with the police before they'll side with you. Theoretically, THE POLICE should be having to prove wrongdoing on your part, and you shouldn't have to prove a thing.  However, it is more common that YOU, the citizen, will have to prove that THE POLICE did something improper.  Some of the easiest things to disprove are Assured Clear Distance (this is the basic ticketing basis for any rear-end collision, basically it says that the driver didn't keep the suggested or safe distance from the back of the car in front of him), speeding tickets involving a radar gun (these have to be calibrated every week or two, but many officers don't do so, meaning you can get off scott free if you call their bullshit, or else you end up paying the ticket AND 40-100 dollars for the court costs, plus wasting an hour in a court room), and if you know what you're doing you can disprove parking violations too (in every parking area that has those damn machines that you have to feed change to, there's at least 4 that are broken.  Park there.  If they pick up your car, tell them where you were parked, say that you put the money in anyway, and demand the return of your car).

 

Also, my 'supposition' is based on my Doctorate in criminology, the many conferences I attend, the many court cases I've sat through (occasionally, I'll just go to the justice center and kill an hour before lunch with some colleagues watching traffic cases and domestic disputes, its funnier than hell really), all the cops I work with, all the cops who do research with me, all the cops who often bring their rifles (both work rifles and their personal rifles) to me for some minor work, etc, etc, etc.  Of course, my knowledge of UK's police comes from two weeks I spent at the Peele center comparing their policing to ours.  Basically, they're more about verbally controlling a situation, rather than using force, although I did watch an older officer handcuff my ex-football playing friend.  Tons of fun, really.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

This law seems very redundant, surely it's covered already by existing dangerous driving laws?

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Possibly but to charge, the police would also have to prove that the activity was actually dangerous. 

With the new law it's illegal even in the unlikely event that you can prove conclusively that there is absolutely no risk to anyone on the road

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Didn't the Mythbusters prove that when talking on a cell phone and driving its just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel?

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

That's what they claim, but I think all they proved is that being required to perform mental exercises while driving and not being allowed to ignore the person you're talking to in order to concentrate on the road ahead can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Whether or not such findings are true of real-life conditions was not addressed to my satisfaction. It was one of the more disappointing Mythbuster investigations.

Texting, I think, is a different matter altogether. I support bans on texting while driving, and shudder to think that anyone would think gaming while driving is at all acceptable.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While ...

Accutally and sadly the county I live in just pass a amendment to such a law to include text messaging as the dummies were using a loophole in saying "I was texting, not talking on my cell phone."

 

So I'm guessing no.  :(

Plus its only a matter of time before computers become standard in cars and we have to pass a law saying no computing at certain times.  Just watch. 

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

Actually, I'm willing to bet "no".

Remember, most driving laws have been on the books for decades.  Most, if not all, were conceived before even the monster sized, carrying case "cell phones".  Before Tv/movies in the car were only the stuff of spy fiction.

I'm not even sure if the driving laws were upgraded as the big, bulky "cell phones" were conceived.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

A common-sense law. Too bad we have an actual need for this kind of law.

Re: Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

yeah, it's things like this that make me lose a little faith in humanity every day.

Although tuesday it was my bio lab group member telling me the group next to us decided who went to do something with the TA by seeing who had the fewest drinks so far (2).

At least there's variety.

 

And now i know what one of my senetors looks like.

 
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