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Troy, Michigan distracted driving law

September 8, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Auto accident attorney discusses Troy, Michigan ordinance

We’re closing out the second week of our distracted driving awareness campaign. If you visit our Facebook page, you can enter to win a $1,032 check — enough money to buy Michigan No-Fault insurance for one year.

The winner will be announced Sept. 12, and our auto accident attorneys are working hard to get the word out.

With all of the buzz about our safety campaign on distracted driving, several readers have brought up the City of Troy’s distracted driving ordinance.

The Troy ordinance is the first of its kind in Michigan. It’s my hope that one day, the same logic will be applied to the entire state of Michigan.

Below is a summary of Troy’s distracted driving law. It prohibits three distinctive types of distracted driving behavior:

1. Texting while driving
The first type of distracted driving behavior is similar to the behavior prohibited by the State of Michigan Texting Law. It prohibits any activity necessary to or associated with the use of a two-way wireless electronic communication device for the purpose of sending or receiving text messages while driving a motor vehicle.

2. Talking on the phone while driving
The second type prohibits any activity necessary to or associated with the use of a hand held wireless electronic device for the purpose of sending or receiving voice messages while driving a motor vehicle.

3. Any other distracted driving activity
The third type prohibits any other activity that distracts a driver and would prevent the driver from driving safely. Examples of distracted driving include eating, grooming, reading, writing, or other activities that prevent the driver from having control of the motor vehicle, with at least one hand on the steering wheel or other steering mechanism.

A person who violates the distracted driving ordinance can be ticketed by police.

There are a few exceptions though:

o Reporting a car accident, medical emergency or serious road hazard.

o Reporting a situation in which the person believes his or her personal safety is in jeopardy.

o Reporting or averting the perpetration or potential perpetration of a criminal act against the individual or another person.

o Carrying out official duties as a police officer, law enforcement official, member of a paid or volunteer fire department, or operator of an emergency vehicle.

According to published reports, Troy police have given out many warnings and tickets for distracted riving, since the ordinance was passed in July 2010.

What do you think about Troy’s distracted driving law? I truly hopes it serves its purpose, and really makes people think before they send that text, and focus on the task at hand — driving.

Steven M. Gursten, partner of Michigan Auto Law, is recognized as one of the nation’s top auto accident lawyers. Steve has received the top verdicts and settlements for car accident or truck accidents cases in 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He frequently blogs about distracted driving and is available for comment.

Related Information to protect yourself:

Texting while driving – FAQs

6 tips to keep your teen drivers safe

10 things to know if you’ve been injured in a Michigan car accident

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with an one of our auto accident lawyers.

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