"Shut Up and Drive" (Please)

Long ago, I heard folk musician Ralston Bowles sing a hilarious song about people yakking on their cell phones while driving. The punchline of the chorus was “shut up and drive.” Mr. Bowles’ satirical tirade, as you would expect, did not affect drivers’ behavior in the least. In fact, distracted driving crashes in Michigan have risen dramatically in recent years and are now reportedly the cause of about a quarter of traffic fatalities.

That figure will hopefully begin to decline soon. Beginning June 30, 2023, with few exceptions, it will be illegal to talk on or even hold a mobile electronic device while driving a motor vehicle in Michigan – even if you are at stopped at a light or stop sign. The exceptions to the ban include:

  • Calling in emergency situations, such reporting an accident or a reckless driver.
  • Using a mobile medical device that is designed to be worn, such as an insulin pump.
  • Using hands-free or dashboard-mounted devices. (Drivers may tap or swipe once to activate the hands-free feature.)
  • Using GPS, provided that the information is entered verbally.

The ban will not apply to public-safety workers using mobile devices in the course of their duties.

The penalties for first-time violators consist of a $100 fine and/or 16 hours of community service. The penalties increase substantially for subsequent violations and are doubled if a crash is involved. Penalties for commercial vehicle and school bus drivers are stiffer than for other drivers.

Be safe as you travel this summer, and don’t hesitate to call us at 248.477.6300 if you have a legal need.

Recent Blog Posts

Work of Art

A Tigers Curveball

Building Community