By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan has banned texting while driving since 2010, but many Michigan teens are still typing away behind the wheel — and so are their parents. Although a national study found reduced crash rates among states with a texting while driving ban, Michigan has not seen such a drop since introducing its own version of the ban. The recent study, led by researchers at Texas A&M and published online March 19, found that states enforcing texting bans had a 7 percent drop in hospitalizations from serious accidents from 2003 to 2010, compared to states without bans. The study factored in alternative components as well, such as changes in speeding laws, drunk driving, and teen driving restrictions, with the texting laws having the highest correlation. Michigan, however, has seen numbers move in the opposite direction, with accidents and accident-related injuries slightly increasing under its ban — from about 282,000 accidents in 2010 to about 289,000 in 2013, according to statistics from the State Police.
Lansing police officers and residents alike said that they are pleased with the safety of St. Patrick’s Day in Lansing, this year in particular. Lansing Police Department Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said that after glancing at the arrest log, he didn’t think the number was over 10 arrests for this St. Patrick’s Day. “We really didn’t have any spike in arrests for drunk driving or impaired people.”
In preparation for the sometimes raucous holiday’s festivities, the Lansing Police Department issued safety tips for the community. According to the press release, Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski said he wanted to ensure that the safety of both those who wanted to celebrate and those who didn’t was the top priority. “Lansing Police’s priority is the publics’ safety, so please be responsible as you celebrate,” Yankowski said in the release. Tips included:
Designate a sober driver before a party begins,
Pace alcohol consumption and
Call a cab or use public transportation if you drink.
Grand Ledge Area District Library loses funds as city adopts Michigan motor vehicle code on super drunk driving
An individual caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .17% or higher is subject to severe penalty according to Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving law. The recently updated law increases penalties for individuals caught driving ‘super drunk’. “There are a dozen or fewer ‘super drunk’ driving arrests per year in Grand Ledge,” said Kalmin Smith, mayor of Grand Ledge. Cases are handled at either the state level or at the city level. Come April, Grand Ledge is adopting the Michigan motor vehicle code, allowing incidents that occur within the city to be handled locally.
By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING- The Millennial Generation is shying away from the driver’s seat, according to a new report. “Moving Off The Road,” published by the nonprofit Public Interest Research Group, suggests working from home, economic factors and urban population contributed to less driving nationwide. In 2013, Michigan drivers traveled almost 6.7 percent fewer miles than in 2005 and 7.6 percent fewer miles than in 2007, the peak driving year. Those in their late teens to early 30s strongly lead the trend. And as the trend is expected to continue, many Millennials are transporting themselves in different ways.
By COURTNEY CULEY
Capital News Service
LANSING—Motorists who are caught driving with an expired license or no proof of insurance may soon catch a financial break. Right now people get hit with a double whammy, said Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan. Motorists driving with expired licenses, no proof of insurance or no-fault insurance get ticketed for the violations. But each of the next two years they also are fined a driver responsibility fee – $150 for an expired license and $200 for no proof of insurance or lack of no-fault insurance. The fees were implemented in 2004 to help balance the budget deficit, Emmons said.