The Lakeshore Traffic Safety Committee unveiled its “Intexticated” program to police and reporters Thursday, at a closed course in downtown Muskegon. The committee is made up of law enforcement and other community leaders from Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana and Mason counties. A $5,000 grant from the Office of Highway Safety Planning helped pay for the car and other materials, as did $5,000 in local donations.
Capt. Mike Poulin, of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, said the program normally starts with a classroom lesson on the dangers of distracted driving. Students then go to a traffic cone course and get used to handling the Global Electric Motors car, a small vehicle resembling a golf cart, that is legal to drive on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. “Once you’re comfortable with it, then we introduce these distractions,” he said. One instructor rides in the passenger seat and tells the driver when to turn, while another instructor sends text messages. The object is to try to answer the text message and make the necessary turns without hitting cones. Most of the participating officers hit at least one cone. Read the full story here.
A study by the University of Utah found that using a cell phone while driving affected a driver as much as having a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol concentration, whether the phone was hands-free or not. According to The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, in 2008 and 2009, 16 people were killed and 783 injured in Michigan wrecks in which drivers were using cell phones. So not only is it very dangerous to text and drive, it is now costly.
Last April, the Governor signed into law the ban on texting while driving and on July 1, 2010, it went into effect. The law makes it illegal to write or read a text or email message while driving. Using a GPS and using a cell phone are still legal. The law makes texting a primary offense, that means the police can stop you for it alone, just like a seat belt violation. Read the Texing While Driving Law here.
Find out how this well-intended law may be violating your constitutional rights here.
If you have a question about a DUI Charge contact Dan Ambrose at (248) 624-5500 or visit our website