MICHIGAN DISTRACTED DRIVING LEGISLATION UPDATE
There are several bills (HB 4181, 4198 and 4199) that have been formulated in the Michigan House of Representatives that deal with Distracted Driving. These bills have been assigned to the House Transportation Committee for further work and study.
As written these bills did not exempt amateur radio operation from a vehicle from being considered as distracted driving
The Michigan ARRL legislative team has been watching as these bills were introduced in the House. As the Michigan ARRL State Government Liaison, I recently testified before the House Transportation Committee. As a result, Amateur Radio was granted an exemption (the use of amateur radio while driving) from being considered a distraction. The exemption amendment referenced 47 CFR Part 97, 47 CFR Part 90 and a reference to CB radio.
The Committee vote to include said exemption language in any Distracted Driving Legislation was unanimous.
The bills will now go to the House Ways & Means Committee for their consideration. If any of the bills pass out of the Ways and Means Committee, they will go to the House floor for a full vote. If the bill(s) pass the House, they will then be referred to the Michigan Senate. If a bill passes the House and Senate vote, then it will move to the Governor’s Desk for her approval.
There seems to be a great deal of interest in the Governor’s office to have a Distracted Driving law in Michigan.
We would appreciate if every Michigan amateur radio operator would send a very brief email to the members of the Transportation Committee thanking them for their support of the amendment exempting amateur radio and other 2-Way radio services from being considered as distracted driving.
Here is a list of the Representatives on the Transportation Committee:
Shannon, Haadsma, Yanrey, Clemente, Sneller, O’Malley, Eisen, Cole, Sheppard, Alexander, Bellino, Howell, and Afendoulis.
You can find a list of representatives and their email addresses here:
It is appropriate to have friends who are or are not fellow amateurs and their friends and relatives to send a note similar to this:
I wish to thank you for supporting the two-way radio exemption on HB 4181, 4198 and 4199. In light of the public services that amateur radio operators provide free of charge for the citizens of Michigan, it is important that amateur radio operation while driving to not be considered to be driving while distracted.
As these bills move forward in the legislative process, there will be additional opportunities for the amateur radio community (and friends) to once again communicate with our legislators. We will provide the specific names and a suggested message(s).
Thank you for your interest and for taking action on this important topic.
Ed Hude, WA8QJE
Michigan ARRL State Government Liaison