Sheriff will be strict with texting drivers
As of June 1, officers are now allowed to ticket motorists who are seen texting while driving.
Arenac County Sheriff James Mosciski said he is in favor of the law and will be enforcing it.
“It’s going to be easy to enforce because it’s an automatic pullover,” Mosciski said. “If we have a reasonable cause, we can pull (motorists) over.”
Although drivers are allowed to make calls while driving, Mosciski said that an officer can check to see if the driver was texting.
“If we have a probable cause, then we can search your phone,” Mosciski said.
According to the law “a person shall not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless two-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in a cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in the state.”
The law does not state that an officer can look at the driver’s phone.
Mosciski said the police department will be very strict, and will not issue warnings.
“Drivers will be ticketed if they are caught,” he said.
Those who are ticketed will receive a $100 fine for their first offense, a civil infraction, and $200 for their second offense.
Mosciski said he is in favor of the texting ban and said talking on a phone while driving should also be banned.
“If (drivers) have to use their phone, they should pull off the road, or not use it at all,” he said.
Mosciski added that his officers will be keeping an eye out for drivers who are texting.
“My deputies won’t be on patrol looking just for drivers texting,” he said. “It’s just another thing we need to watch for.”
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed the legislation against texting while driving back in April.