eyes on the road. hands on the wheel.

Hands-Free Michigan


Welcome to the official website of the Hands-Free Michigan campaign, which was unveiled by the Transportation Improvement Association (TIA) at a press conference on March 30, 2016.  The purpose of handsfreemichigan.com, created by TIA and two victims (Laurel Zimmerman and Jim Freybler) on September 24, 2016, is to provide information regarding the hands-free movements in Michigan.

Michigan’s current texting law, MCL 257.602b, is too specific to texting and is extremely difficult to enforce. Since portable electronic devices now have numerous capabilities (i.e. social media, e-mail, video chat, a variety of apps, etc.) that drivers are engaging in, 30 states in the nation have a hands-free law. The goal is for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The Michigan Legislature currently has two options to address distracted driving. Senate Bill 409, introduced by Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Holly); and House Bills 4277, 4278, and 4279, which were introduced by Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham).

Although TIA previously opposed House Bills 4277, 4278, and 4279 due to an enforcement loophole, TIA now fully supports the package and encourages the Michigan Legislature and Governor to move forward. TIA quickly worked with Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Holly), law enforcement leaders, and others on a Senate Substitute to make the House Bill package enforceable and true hands-free.


Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system - anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.


61 persons were killed and 6,328 were injured in 16,547 motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver during 2021 in the state of Michigan.

Since TIA and former State Representative Martin Howrylak announced the first hands-free bill on September 6, 2016, 364 persons were killed and 38,544 were injured in 101,170 crashes involving a distracted driver (as of June 15, 2022).

how you can help

Please help us eliminate distracted driving in Michigan by contacting your State Senator and State Representative to encourage them to support House Bills 4277, 4278, and 4279 with the Senate Substitute.


It is becoming far too common for people to be doing something other than driving. Distractions while driving may include: talking on a phone, texting, reading, eating, or watching a video. In 2021, Michigan recorded...

Distracted driving crashes in which
People were killed and
People were injured

Contact Your Elected Officials

distracted driving

What People
Have to Say

"My daughter, Ally, lost her life in 2011 due to a distracted driver," said Laurel Zimmerman. "Too many families have lost a loved one due to distracted driving. Ally was passionate about helping others and would want this bill passed."
"As drivers, we all have the ability to save lives and prevent injuries through the choices we make," said Jim Freybler, who lost his son to texting and driving. "A brief distraction can take away a loved one forever. Please remember my son, Jacob, and don't drive distracted."
“When operating a motor vehicle, we all have a personal responsibility to not only protect our lives, but also protect the lives of the innocent people around us,” said Jim Santilli, CEO of the Transportation Improvement Association. “One simple distraction, such as a short text message, can change many lives forever, and that’s why when you’re driving down the road, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”