New bill aims to make cellphone use illegal for Michigan drivers under 18

LANSING, Mich. – Law enforcement officials across the country have repeatedly told the public that distracted driving is killing people, but it hasn’t stopped people from using their phone while driving.

ORIGINAL STORY: Michigan House votes to ban drivers under 18 from using cellphones

A new bill would make it illegal for drivers under 18 to do anything on a phone that isn’t hands-free. The only exception is emergency use and navigation.

House Bill 4181 was passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.

Nearly 3,000 Michigan crashes in 2018 involved admitted cellphone use. Of the 2,917 crashes involving admitted cellphone use, 20 percent were 20-years-old or younger.

“I know there’s a lot of accidents that happen, but why should we discriminate?” asked Lawrence Jackson. “Older people do the same thing.”

The bill’s author, Rep. Mari Manoogian, agrees that more should be done.

“We do need to make a more serious push to ban distracted driving,” Manoogian said. “While I’d like to see more legislation that would go further to extend to everybody, this is a great first step to make sure that our newest drivers are keeping their hands on the wheel and off of their phones.”

House Bill 4181 will go to the state Senate for consideration before going to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for approval.

Whitmer has already said she supports the bill.

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