FROM LINDA, A READER...
Last night’s City Council meeting was a joke to say the least. Two items in
1) The distracted driving ordinance and
2) Putting Janice Daniels biography/philosophies on the city website.
Our distracted driving ordinance took months to prepare for a vote. During
this time, council worked with the Troy Police Department, Traffic
Improvement Association of Oakland County, input from citizens, etc. This
materialized in an ordinance that won Accolades for being proactive in
safety, as well as setting an example for other cities.
In fact, ABC News had a story a few months ago about another midwest
city that implemented a similar ordinance such as ours. The news story
said it was the first of its kind anywhere in the country and was expected to
be an example of a safety standard for other cities. (I e-mailed ABC News
to correct them and say that Troy was the first.)
At a previous council meeting, Councilman Henderson suggested removing
paragraph three of the ordinance:
3.! COMMON DISTRACTIVE BEHAVIORSThe ordinance reads: Any action by the driver of a motor vehicle that diverts his or her attention resulting in the failure to use duecare and caution in the safe operation of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is in motion on any highway or street or place open tothe general public within the City of Troy. Such action can includebut is not limited to: eating, reading, writing, performing personalhygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers, or unsecured cargo, any of which is done in a manner that prohibits the driver from maintaining direct physical control of the motor vehicle steering mechanism with at least one hand that is free of all other objects and used entirely to form a controlled grip on thesteering mechanism.
From the City Website: A common question is why did we need a new ordinance? Why not just
have the police officers enforce the laws currently on the books and write
tickets for careless or reckless driving? The trend around the country is to
legislate distracted driving laws. The penalties for those laws are generally
fines but no points. To be consistent, the Troy ordinance follows this
practice by offering penalties that include fines but no points. In contrast, a
Careless Driving ticket currently carries a fine of $205.00 and three points.
Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor crime where a judge/magistrate
determines fines and costs in addition to six points. By organizing the new
Troy ordinance in a three-part distracted driving package, with
penalties as fines but no points, we are consistent with similar laws
around the country.
Chief Mayer provided council a great amount of information before the
meeting showing the positives of our ordinance, NO negatives and the
Accolades attributed to the city for developing it. He was still acquiring
more information, but a murder investigation had taken priority, as it should
In spite of this, and Mayor Pro Tem Maureen McGinnis’s explanation of the
effort and resources involved, the gang of four council members, Wade
Fleming, Doug Tietz, Dave Henderson and Janice Daniels voted to remove
the third paragraph of the ordinance. Basically, they thumbed their noses
at all who were involved. It was also quite evident that the information
provided meant nothing, if they actually read it. The majority of this council
is taking us backward rather than forward. Pay attention and beware of
what they have on their agenda.
Here is a video regarding distracted driving: