Cycling advocates mark a victory as Gov. Whitmer signs distracted driving bills

Last week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that bans the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. The legislation had a number of advocates, none more so than the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Matt Penniman, director of communications for the League, explains why this was so important to his members.

Investigators face challenges identifying distracted driving as a cause of crashes. Some statistics from 2021, the most recent year with updated data:

Bicycle1,248 crashes, 37 cited as involving distracted driving.29 fatal, two cited as involving distracted driving.126 serious, three cited as involving distracted driving.

Pedestrian1790 crashes, 92 cited as involving distracted driving.182 fatal, 14 cited as involving distracted driving.343 serious, 22 cited as involving distracted driving.

Penniman also talks about the continuing rise in popularity of electric bicycles (e-bikes), with industry officials anticipating the market growing to nearly $92 billion by 2029.

Other topics include Michigan’s Complete Streets policy and whether it’s time for some updates.

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