In Michigan
6:15 pm
Tue January 26, 2010

MI Senators pass ban on text messaging while driving

LANSING, MI –

The Republican-led Michigan Senate has approved a ban on texting while driving.

AUDIO:
Last week the texting-while-driving bills appeared to stall in the state Senate over whether the crime should be a primary or secondary offense. Many lawmakers argue texting should start out as a secondary violation - meaning the driver would have to be pulled over for something else, first - and become a more serious violation in a few years.

Republican Senator Bruce Patterson wants the measure to be more serious now. He says enough time has passed and enough studies have shown the dangers of texting. He says people used to feel differently about alcohol in the 70s.

"Three-martini lunches were the norm," he says. "Everybody expected to drink and drive."

But, he says, just because it was the norm, doesn't mean it should be a secondary offense. However, the bills did pass the Senate as a secondary offense. They now move to the state House.