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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Driving While Distracted by Cell Phone

Has the time come for drivers to give-up cell phones while operating their vehicles? In Michigan, more municipalities and jurisdictions are saying, "maybe". The cell phone lobby, however, says, "not yet", and continues to block state-wide cell phone bans.

Despite the efficiencies achieved by the now-ubiquitous cell phone, Royal Oak, Southfield and other jurisdictions have considered outlawing this form of "multitasking". Many other Oakland County municipalities have enacted "driving while distracted" provisions which enhance the fines assessed when a cell phone factors into a traffic violation.

Many would say, "it's about time." Even the cell phone lobby may be coming around. A recent Sunday New York Times front-page article describes how the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association recently changed its position opposing cell phone bans, to a more "neutral" stance. The Sunday Times article, which summarizes the scientific data compiled about distracted driving, can be found at the following link:

Although mounting statistics compare cell phone driving to drunk driving, eight states have enacted legislation that prevent municipalities from passing ordinances that prohibit cell phone use. Other states like California, New York and New Jersey, have banned hand-held devices while driving. Royal Oak and Southfield may be next.

If you have suffered injuries from a driver distracted by a cell phone, or have had a traffic citation enhanced because of it, contact us to discuss your options.

Update:  See comment below regarding an OP update.

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Blogger Timothy P. Flynn said...

Many months after this post, the Oakland Press published a front-page article on the subject. Regulation is near; but will it be enforcible?

Here's the article from Karen Workman:

April 11, 2010 at 7:54 PM 

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