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Texting While Driving Ban Begins July 1

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Drivers across Michigan are being encouraged to keep their “Thumbs on the Wheel.”

Michigan’s ban on texting while driving takes effect Thursday, July 1.  A first offense will cost $100 and repeat offenses will cost $200. Texting will be a primary offense under Michigan’s law, meaning police can pull over motorists solely for using phones to send text messages.

When the ban on text messaging takes effect, the Michigan State Police will not begin an aggressive campaign to write you up for violating that new law, WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports.

Ann Readette of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety said there’s going to be something else about a person’s driving that first catches the police’s attention.

“They’re leaving their lane, they’re following to closely… then they [police] are going to take a second look to see what’s behind that,” Readett said.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning has kicked off the campaign using billboards, posters and a public service announcement featuring talking thumbs.

Billboards put up around the state remind drivers to hold off on text messaging, carrying the phrase text back later (“txt back L8R”) and one of two accompanying messages: “OR PAY $100″ or “IT’S THE LAW.”

For more information visit the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning or view the public service announcement.

The AP contributed to this story.

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