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MI Governor Granholm Signs Texting While Driving Bill

Michigan became the 19th state to ban texting while driving when Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a new bill into law.

Gov. Granholm signed the new bill on national television during a safe driving rally that was broadcasted on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the Detroit Free Press reports. The new law aims to promote better driving habits and reduce the number of accidents.

Michigan now joins several other states and the District of Columbia that ban texting behind the wheel. In addition, there at least a handful of states that ban using cell phones while driving altogether.

Here are the provisions of the new law:

  • First-time violators could be ticketed and slapped with a $100 civil fine.
  • Subsequent violations would net a $200 fine. No points would go on driving records.

As previously discussed, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stepped up his campaign against texting while driving. He said he favored rewarding states that banned texting while driving and would support legislation to deny federal funds to states that permit cell phone texting in cars.

In addition, bus and large commercial truck drivers have been banned from texting while driving or using handheld cell phones.

Texting while driving is already banned for federal staff, according to an executive order signed by President Barack Obama. Federal employees were required to comply with the ban beginning on Dec. 30, 2009.

According to a recent New York Times/CBS News, poll about 97 percent of Americans support a ban on texting while driving, as previously discussed.

As for Michigan, its new law banning texting while driving goes effect July 1.