Heads up if you drive through Battle Creek, ever, because as of Friday they are prohibiting any handheld phone use while you drive.  This includes talking, scrolling or typing according to WOODTV.

The city council voted in the new rule February 5th.  Technically there’s already a Michigan State Law that bans texting and driving, but Battle Creek PD told WOODTV it’s difficult to prove someone was texting rather than just holding their phone, so the new local law is a bit broader and will allow them to truly help curb some distracted driving.

The law goes into effect on Friday, but police won’t start ticketing until the new signs that MDOT has to approve are installed along the city borders.  The Battle Creek Police Chief told WOODTV they expect this first year to “educate drivers more than ticket them.” He also said he doesn’t think this will lead to a bunch of new tickets.

Fines are similar to the state law, the first time it’s a $100 fine and then $200 every other time. There are a few exceptions to the law - emergency responders who are on duty or reporting a crash, medical emergency or serious road hazard.