A warning to those who drive through Troy. The city’s distracted driving ordinance is being enforced now. The new enforcement started Saturday several months after it was passed by city council. Monday, Jan. 3, is the first work day in which the ordinance is being enforced.
That means the signs are now up around Troy reminding drivers about the new ordinance. It makes it illegal to use any electronic handheld device while driving, such as cell phones and anything else that can take your attention from the road.
For example, the city ordinance approved in July also prohibits sending or receiving text messages while driving, similar to a state texting ban. The ban also prohibits any other activity that distracts the driver such as eating, grooming, reading, or writing.
Drivers who are ticketed faces fines of $75.00 for talking on a cell phone and $200 for distracted driving and texting while driving.
There are a few exceptions to the law like someone reporting a traffic accident and a medical emergency.
Drivers like Peter Mueller of Farmington Hills thinks there’s too much leeway here.
“I’d like to ask the police officers one thing, and that would be I think they’re the most distracted here, with computers and all their on-board equipment. Where does the law stop? Is it just handheld electronic devices, is it yelling kids in the back seat? Is it billboards that might distract? Cute kids going down the street,” Mueller said to WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
There may be a challenge by someone who is targeted. Ron Scott, of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, says the law may violate the 4th amendment.
“Though it may be a good idea and it may be motivated by public safety I think people have to be very careful in terms of encroaching on these kinds of rights,” Scott said.
Troy Police spokesman Lt. Bob Redmond says they won’t hunt down distracted drivers.
Redmond says with the ordinance, officers are looking at driving behavior not the behavior that drivers are committing inside the car. If you’re driving perfectly well, the odds of being stopped are pretty slim, according to Redmond.
Click here to read more about the ordinance.