Legislation introduced to reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries

first_img Categories: Howrylak News 31Mar Legislation introduced to reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries SOUTHFIELD, Michigan — Jim Santilli, chief executive officer of the Transportation Improvement Association, and state Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy) today announced distracted driving legislation with the goal of reducing fatalities, injuries, and traffic crashes in Michigan.“When operating a motor vehicle, we all have a personal responsibility to protect our life and the lives of the innocent people traveling around us at all times,” said Santilli.  “No text message, social media update, internet search, or any other distraction is worth putting a life in jeopardy.  I commend Representative Howrylak and the bipartisan co-sponsors for their commitment to ensuring all people return home to their loved ones each day.”House Bill 4466 was introduced by Howrylak and co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak), David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), Frank Liberati (D-Allen Park), Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township), and Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills).  The bill states that a person may use a portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle if the portable electronic device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and is being used in that manner by the person while operating a motor vehicle.The movement for a hands-free law began after Santilli attended the funeral for Ally Zimmerman, a 16-year-old Romeo High School student who was hit by a distracted driver while traveling as an innocent passenger on December 28, 2010.  He immediately joined forces with Ally’s family and friends to create the “Remembering Ally: Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign.”  The award-winning campaign reached people in more than 90 countries.  Santilli and Ally’s mother, Laurel Zimmerman, both agreed that Michigan’s current texting law is too specific and a hands-free law would be easier to enforce.  After communicating with public safety leaders throughout the nation to determine the best language for a bill, Santilli officially announced a plan to send a hands-free recommendation to the Michigan Legislature during a press conference on March 30, 2016.  Shortly after the announcement, Howrylak reached out to Santilli and offered to sponsor the bill.“The number of distracted drivers continues to rise and we must take action to make our roadways safer,” said Rep. Howrylak.  “The legislation seeks to ensure Michigan drivers have their attention focused on the road at all times, instead of a mobile device.”###last_img

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