Law enforcement agencies in several Michigan communities, including in Livingston County, are participating in a 4-hour distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative in support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
“Connect to Disconnect” (C2D) is taking place Thursday as part of the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” media campaign, which reminds drivers about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving. Participating law enforcement agencies include the Brighton Police Department.
The goals of C2D are to demonstrate a nationwide commitment to enforcing texting and distracted driving laws and to reduce traffic crashes caused by distracted drivers, ultimately preventing injuries and deaths associated with cell phone use and texting while driving.
According to michigantrafficcrashfacts.org, there were 14,236 motor vehicle crashes in Michigan involving a distracted driver during 2020, with 48 of those crashes resulting in a fatality. The most common crash type for distracted driving crashes in 2020 was a rear end collision, which accounted for 44.7 percent of distracted driving crashes.
“We’re hoping this enforcement period will help reduce the ever-increasing number of crashes involving distracted drivers,” said Alicia Sledge, interim director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “At the same time, we will send a reminder that texting while driving in Michigan is illegal, dangerous and deadly.”
Michigan law prohibits reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. Exceptions include reporting crashes, crimes or other emergencies. The fine for a first offense is $100. The fine doubles to $200 for subsequent offenses.