Effects of texting law visible in Monroe County

Since July 1, Michigan drivers can be pulled over and ticketed for text-messaging while driving.

Monroe County Sheriff Tilman L. Crutchfield said one ticket has been issued since the effective date, but that doesn’t mean the new law isn’t working.

“Visually I have seen quite a difference,” Crutchfield said. “In the past, I’ve seen people pull out in front of me or run red lights in front of me, all while texting. It is an issue. It is a problem.”

The new law states a person can be ticketed for “reading, typing or sending text messages using a wireless two-way communication device, including a wireless phone located in a person’s hand or lap, while operating a moving motor vehicle on a street or highway in the state.”

Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the law is in place to make roads safer by helping to eliminate unneeded distractions.

“By signing this law and making texting while driving a primary offense,” she said in a press release, “we are giving Michigan’s law enforcement officers the

tools necessary to identify and stop this dangerous behavior before it results in a crash causing injury or death.”

While the new law prohibits texting while driving on public streets and highways, it does not affect MCCC’s campus roads.

Bill Myers, head of campus security, said college officers cannot issue citations for texting while driving on campus, but he still emphasizes the danger.

“It doesn’t make good sense to text and drive,” he said. “Why do it? Just pull over. It’s too dangerous.”

To view Gov. Granholm’s press release, visit http://www.michigan.gov/ gov/0,1607,7-168–236303–,00.html.