Sheriff will be strict with texting drivers


As of June 1, officers are now allowed to ticket motorists who are seen texting while driving.

Arenac County Sheriff James Mosciski said he is in favor of the law and will be enforcing it.

“It’s going to be easy to enforce because it’s an automatic pullover,” Mosciski said. “If we have a reasonable cause, we can pull (motorists) over.”

Although drivers are allowed to make calls while driving, Mosciski said that an officer can check to see if the driver was texting.

“If we have a probable cause, then we can search your phone,” Mosciski said.

According to the law “a person shall not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless two-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in a cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in the state.”

The law does not state that an officer can look at the driver’s phone.

Mosciski said the police department will be very strict, and will not issue warnings.

“Drivers will be ticketed if they are caught,” he said.

Those who are ticketed will receive a $100 fine for their first offense, a civil infraction, and $200 for their second offense.

Mosciski said he is in favor of the texting ban and said talking on a phone while driving should also be banned.

“If (drivers) have to use their phone, they should pull off the road, or not use it at all,” he said.

Mosciski added that his officers will be keeping an eye out for drivers who are texting.

“My deputies won’t be on patrol looking just for drivers texting,” he said. “It’s just another thing we need to watch for.”

Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed the legislation against texting while driving back in April.


Please review our community guidelines before posting

Please keep comments on topic and appropriate for all ages. Remember that people of all ages read our website. Those that are not appropriate will be removed. Please read our full community guidelines before posting.

12 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

It is very comforting to know we have a wonderful Sheriff taking care of us in this county. A pat on the back to you Sheriff Jim!

Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Report this

you go get em Jim. glad your back in the drivers seat. no one else can do the job like you can. sure missed you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Report this

Here's a sheriff interjecting his personal thoughts and showing prejudice. His job is not to make the laws, but to simply enforce what is enacted without prejudice.

If anything, you should be considering whether or not you want a sheriff who publicly airs his personal beliefs about what he wants to enforce vs. what is enforceable.

Bob Hughes

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Report this

did I miss something in this article Bob Hughes? the sheriff said he was enforcing the law not his personal beliefs.

this wasn't a complicated article. it states "According to the law “a person shall not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless two-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in a cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in the state.”

what part of this law Bob Hughes do you NOT want the sheriff to enforce????????

the sheriff never said he was going to enforce cell phone use, just texting.

is it a crime for a sheriff to voice his personal opinios?????????

you keep doing your job sheriff, the person you stop who is texting might be the person that would of hit Bob Hughes head on.

and sheriff if someone didn't get stoped who was texting and hit a person close to Bob Hughes you would be the sheriff who wasn't doing his job.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Report this

I never wrote that the sheriff shouldn't enforce this law. I never wrote that it was a crime for the sheriff to voice his personal opinions. I never wrote that I disagreed with the law. Actually, I would support a law that allows for only hands free operation of cellular phones.

I merely stated the fact the Mr. Mosciski seems fairly vocal about a law that he apparently feels didn't go far enough, and that's what you and the rest of Arenac County should beware.

Regarding what I wrote....let me give you an example of a cop voicing his personal concerns in the public and the public reacting appropriately: Mark Fuhrman.

Remember Mr. Fuhrman? The detective that worked the O.J. case? Here's a guy who expressed his personal opinion regarding individuals of a different race. Did it affect his ability to be unbiased in the O.J. case? I don't know, only he would know. However, did it affect the jury's and society's view of his abilities? Absolutely.

What is to keep Mr. Mosciski from stopping anyone that is properly using a cell phone? He now has the authority under what he stated was "reasonable cause" to do apparently do whatever he feels is necessary based on what is observed. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, he stated a personal bias against the use of cell phones. Therefore, how can you trust anything he does in relation to a traffic stop involving cell phone usage?

Remember that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Mr. Mosciski is the most powerful law enforcement officer in Arenac County and has a public responsibility to be fair and unbiased. With that power needs to come the personal and professional responsibility to maintain the appearance of fairness. Additionally, I never said he did a bad nor a good job.

One thing has nothing to do with the other. If I were a citizen of Arenac County, I would be concerned with what else Mr. Mosciski doesn't believe in.

Your ball.

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Report this

We welcome the debate in the comments, but will not tolerate bad language. Any posts that contain swearing will be deleted, and repeat offenders will have their accounts suspended. This is your warning. Feel free to continue the debate, but in a civil manner, with no name calling.

Thank you

Eric Young

Managing Editor

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Report this

Dear Editor, you took off my post. Would you please show me where I used bad language. I kept a copy of my post and there is absolutely no swearing or bad language in my post. Is this some kind of a stunt or did I post too much truth and that is why my post was taken off? Or is it a crime to defend the sheriff? Where was the swearing and the name calling?

Calling the former sheriff Ron Bouldin a Horse's A?? was not swearing or name calling. He was given that award by the POAM. Ron Bouldin proudly displayed his trophy of the Horse's A?? award on his desk at the sheriff's office for everyone to see. Maybe if you would of checked into this you would of known about it. The Arenac Independent conviently didn't run that story, but it was ran in several newspapers across Michigan with the name of the award in the paper.

It appears to me history is repeating itself with this newspaper. Back several years ago the sheriff would get slammed in this newspaper and a person would conviently not be able to defend the sheriff.

How convient to post your comment without my original post for the public to see and decide for themselves. Censorship!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Report this

Comparing Sheriff Mosciski to a rasist is obsurd. Vocing an opinion doesn't mean a person will act on that opinion. The Sheriff isn't the highest law enforcement officer, it is Mr. Broughton.

Why are comments being taken off?

Friday, July 16, 2010 | Report this

To clarify, only one comment was removed, and that was due to the fact that the commenter swore in his post. We do not allow swearing of any kind in the comments. No other posts have been removed.

If you have any further questions on how these comments are moderated, feel free to email me,

Eric Young

Managing Editor

Friday, July 16, 2010 | Report this

Spanky....I'll concede that Mr. Broughton is the highest ranking law enforcement. I forgot about locally elected DA's. :)

You are correct in saying that a person may not act on an opinion. However, you don't know that he will act on the opinion either.

As far as a comparison to Fuhrman, I don't believe it's out of line. I used that example to reference law enforcement, their personal feelings and how the two could actually create an issue. On the other hand, look at Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Arizona, the guy that makes all of the prisoners wear pink and has enacted other tough and compassionate programs. He get's the support of what he's doing AND it's within the law, and that's the key. Conversely, Mr. Mociski's opinion on what should be enforced is regarding something that is outside the law. Hence, there are two sides to this type of example.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | Report this

talking about sheriff arpaio, yeah now thats a man to be proud of, there is no comparison to the arenac county sheriff or under sheriff, pima is not corupt and the laws are equal to all, pinal county is doing better, though it was best ran when roger vanderpool was sheriff and cunningham was working for him, a county needs to welcome visitors and tourists and not try to pull all money to the sheriff's dept, before they can explore the community, and there are always 2 sides to a story, mind you arenac will only go with the money side and snitches they have, so they can make cases on innocent people to take to the prosicuter to make money, so there snitches will take a lighter sentence, and walk while the other person deals with lies....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Report this

its great that the law is inforceing that but what about those in a motor vehicle? when i drive the road i see over 5 drivers texting and some are very obvious. i have also seen an officer using one. this needs to be forced just bit harder and I dont see why an officer should aloud to get away with something that is inforced in the law book

Monday, August 9, 2010 | Report this

Copyright © 2018, Sunrise Publishing. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.