State Rep. Jason Sheppard this week introduced legislation to increase the fines for drivers who text while driving.
Sheppard’s plan increases the penalty for texting while driving in Michigan from $100 for a first violation to $250, and from $200 for a second violation up to $500.
“When we get behind the wheel, we are responsible for our actions,” Sheppard said. “It’s my belief if drivers face higher fines for texting and driving, they may think twice before texting so they keep their focus where it should be – on the road.”
Sheppard noted the recent case of a distracted driver involved in a crash on U.S. 23 in Monroe County, killing a mother and her daughter. The driver was charged with one count of reckless driving causing death.
“Statistics are telling us that more people are not driving responsibly. If you’re the driver, set a good example by making the best choice for you and everyone on the road by putting the phone down and being responsible,” Sheppard said. “No text message is worth someone’s life.”
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who text are up to eight times as likely to be involved in a crash.
House Bill 4199 has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.