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Cell Phones and Texting
It is illegal in Michigan for any minor with a level 1 or 2 Graduated Driver’s License to use a cell phone while driving a vehicle. This law was brought into full force on 28th march 2013 and it carries heavy penalties for minors who are caught violating it. The penalties may include driver’s license restriction, suspension or extension of probationary period. All drivers operating on public roads and streets, regardless of age and license status, are banned from texting while driving.
All front-car occupants are required by law to wear a seat belt. Children aged between 8 years old and 15 years old are required to wear seat belts regardless of the position they sit in a car. All kids under 4 feet 9 inches or younger than 8 years old, must ride in a federally approved child safety seat. The types of a child safety seats vary depending on the weight, height and age of a child. The state police officers are mandated to pull any vehicle over, whose driver or passenger doesn’t comply with the above seat belt requirements.
Child Car Seat Laws
All children younger than 4 years old must ride in a secured safety seat that has been approved federally. The seat must be positioned in the rear end on the car. The law only requires a child younger than 4 years to ride in a safety seat positioned in front when all other seats are occupied by other kids under 4 years old. Kids weighing less than 20 lbs must ride in the rear side of the car. Additionally, older kids must ride in a booster seat until they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches or turn 8 years old. You can purchase a booster seat or child safety seat online. Be sure to consider the child’s height, weight and age before you make your offer.
The state requires you to turn on your vehicle’s headlights between sunset and sunrise. Headlights must also be turned on when the weather can’t allow you to see past 500 feet ahead. The law doesn’t require you to turn on high beams when the approaching vehicle is 500 ft away. Remember to turn off your vehicle’s parking lights whenever your vehicle is in motion.
There is no mandatory helmet law for all drivers. The law only requires you to wear a helmet if you:
- Are below 21 years old.
- Haven’t passed motorcycle course.
- Haven’t held a motorcycle endorsement for at least 2 years.
If you carry an additional $20,000 in medical insurance, you are exempted from wearing a helmet.
Reporting Drunk Drivers
Currently, the statewide number to report drunk drivers is not available. However, the state encourages its residents to report any drunk or unsafe driver to the police or any relevant state agency.
Michigan doesn’t have a clear law that can prosecute those who leave their kids unattended in a vehicle, especially during extreme weather conditions. However, the state requires you to report cases of unattended kids in a vehicle to the law enforcement authorities. If the kid is in danger, dial 911 immediately. The person attending the kid must be older than 13 years old.