Grand Valley Lanthorn | Distracted driving: Michigan metropolis bans telephone use for drivers

Grand Valley Lanthorn | Distracted driving: Michigan city bans phone use for drivers

By Laureen Horan
| 39 minutes in the past

Everybody is aware of that texting whereas driving isn’t an important thought, however what about utilizing GPS whereas driving? Or making a fast telephone name? What about switching Spotify playlists? One Michigan metropolis has now banned using cell telephones whereas driving for any purpose and security officers at Grand Valley State College agree that the ban needs to be common. 

Starting Friday, Feb. 15, drivers in Battle Creek, Mich. are more likely to get pulled over if they’re caught utilizing a telephone whereas driving, regardless if the motive force is definitely texting or not. Drivers in violation of the brand new regulation may very well be issued a civil infraction and fined $100 for the primary offense or $200 for the next offenses. 

Although frequent sense agrees that utilizing cellular units whereas driving is harmful, many drivers have gotten into the behavior of utilizing smartphones behind the wheel. The Nationwide Freeway Visitors and Security Administration (NHTSA) studies that 25 % of all automobile accidents (roughly 1.6 million yearly) are attributable to texting and driving. This behavior is commonest for drivers between ages 16-24, so Grand Valley Police Division acknowledges the frequency of distracted driving the menace it poses to the scholars in all places. 

“I believe it’s an important thought. With the know-how we’ve got today, folks can use hands-free or bluetooth units as an alternative,” mentioned GVPD Officer Kelsey Sietsema. 

“When individuals are wanting down at their telephones, accidents are certain to occur. A couple of month in the past, we had a feminine on campus (a non-student) looking for her good friend through the use of GPS on her telephone. This driver grew to become distracted and struck a pedestrian utilizing the crosswalk.” 

College students additionally acknowledge the hazards introduced when drivers attempt to multitask, particularly in circumstances that go away roads icy and slick. 

“It’s most likely taking place for good purpose,” mentioned senior pure useful resource main Sabrina Fouche. “If (Battle Creek) took these drastic measures, it was most likely crucial… if there’s a necessity for it, possibly that is the way it needs to be.” 

Senior advertising and marketing main Sam Vaughn mentioned that although texting and driving typically isn’t secure, there could also be reliable causes to make use of a telephone whereas driving. 

“Texting or speaking whereas driving or something of that nature may be harmful, however I believe there needs to be some leeway for people who find themselves checking their GPS or altering songs actually rapidly. In fact although, it’s not like this ordinance will truly harm anybody,” Vaughn mentioned. 

Whereas some view this purely as a security matter, Liberal Research senior Rachael Ocampo considers what financial features this might imply for the areas that implement the no-phone ban. 

“Any regulation that enables zero exceptions looks as if a foul coverage to me and will additionally come below scrutiny as a method for a metropolis to max out their earnings on pointless fines. Michigan’s present distracted driving regulation does a very good job outlining when it’s permissible to make use of your telephone whereas driving and when it isn’t—I believe town ought to stick with these pointers,” Ocampo mentioned. 

Michigan’s statewide pointers on distracted driving make exceptions for utilizing the units for GPS instruments or to report a criminal offense, accident or street hazard. Because it stands now, there are few restrictions to speaking on the telephone whereas driving, whereas studying or writing textual content messages behind the wheel is unlawful. 

It’s unclear now whether or not extra Michigan communities will apply the no-phone ban, but it surely’s possible that site visitors knowledge offered by the Battle Creek metropolis fee over the subsequent few years might affect whether or not or not this ordinance will likely be tailored elsewhere. 

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