Just months after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new distracted driving law that requires drivers to go hands-free behind the wheel, our neighbors to the south are doubling down on pre-existing laws in Illinois.

Illinois residents voted to approve a new law that will affect how drivers can and can't use their mobile devices while on the roads-- even if they're hands-free. Here's how it works:

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Zoom and Drive

Starting in January 2024, Illinois drivers will no longer be able to answer Zoom or other video calls while operating a vehicle. According to legal site LegiScan the new measure reads as following:

 a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device, including using an electronic communication device to participate in any video conferencing application or to access any social media site.

In plain English: you can't answer a Zoom, FaceTime, or any other video call while driving. Now, I don't know why anyone would feel the need to answer a video call while driving-- I certainly wouldn't!

However, I have wondered how all those people on TikTok and YouTube record all these videos from their car. I always assume there's another person behind the wheel and the person filming is (hopefully) doing so from the passenger seat but I'm not naïve! Sometimes the car is clearly in motion and that's not right or safe-- especially to all the other people on the road!

What Does MI Law Say?

The new distracted driver law which just took effect June 30, 2023 prohibits any driver from manually using a cellphone or other electronic mobile device. The State of Michigan clarifies,

Under the law...Even if a cell phone or other device is mounted on your dashboard or connected to your vehicle’s built-in system, you cannot use your hands to operate it beyond a single touch. As a result, you cannot manually...Make or answer a telephone or video call.

So it seems they've though of everything! The law also goes so far as to include:

  • Watching, recording, and sending videos
  • Accessing social media including reading and posting
  • Entering directions into a GPS or navigation device

Essentially, you need to know where you're going and, more importantly, what you're going to listen to before you hit the road!

Again this is all in the name of safety so it's important that we all take this new law/responsibility seriously. Get the full details on Michigan's distracted driving law here.

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