One Battle Creek City Commissioner is looking to crack down on distracted driving in the city.

The City Commission’s Agenda for their meeting next Tuesday includes the introduction of an ordinance which would expand the definition of distracted driving in the Uniform Traffic Code. Commissioner Kaytee Faris says that while Michigan law prohibits texting while driving, it doesn’t prohibit any other activities with a cell phone. She used data to support her position that the current law doesn't go far enough....

According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center in 2016, there were 12,788 crashes in Michigan involving distracted driving, resulting in 43 fatalities and 5,103 injuries. In 2016, cell phones were involved in 1,912 crashes in Michigan, which is 15 percent of all distracted driving involved crashes. Of the 1,912 crashes in Michigan involving cell phone use, 1,893 (99 percent) involved usage by a motor vehicle driver. 

Under the new ordinance, texting, talking on the phone, or the “sending, receiving, or reading” of any data would be not allowed. It’s estimated that implementing this ordinance would cost about $4,800, because signage would need to be posted around the city to let people know about the rules.

Commissioner Faris supports this ordinance, as does the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.