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Bills would ban many uses of cell phones while driving

A cell phone with the apps Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pulled up

Some stories, there's just not a lot of gray area.

A few months ago, I was driving behind a vehicle that kept lurching from one side of the lane to the other. It was pretty bad. I thought the driver was drunk.

Finally, I passed the car, and I saw that the motorist was driving with one hand on the wheel, whilst her other hand held a cell phone aloft, the better to conduct a Facetime chat.  

She was driving about 70 miles an hour down the highway. Yikes. Not good.

So currently, while there is a general distracted driving bill on the books, Michigan's law pertaining to using a cell phone while driving only bans texting.

A bipartisan set of bills has cleared the House Judiciary Committee to also ban using mobile apps, social media, and video streaming on a cell phone while driving.

Adrienne Woodland of AAA of Michigan says her group supports these bills. "Looking away from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk of a crash," she says.

I conclude my anecdote:

This driver got off at the same exit as me. So at the stop sign, I got out of my car and went over and tapped on her window. Her eyes got pretty big, but she didn't roll it down. So using a combination of hand gestures and loud enunciations, I advised her that her driving was not safe.

She didn't appear grateful for my advice, at all. I suppose I should be grateful she didn't throw her cell phone at my head.

Sigh. It's hard being a curmudgeon.  

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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