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texting-while-driving2LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate has passed a new version of a bill that would make it illegal to send text messages from cell phones while driving in Michigan.

 The main bill in the package passed the Republican-led chamber by a 28-10 vote Thursday. It now advances to the Democrat-led House.

 The new Senate version would make texting while driving a primary offense starting July 1, meaning police could pull over and cite motorists for texting alone.

 Previous versions of the bill had made texting a secondary offense. That meant police first would need some other reason to stop a vehicle.

 Fines would be $100 for a first offense and $200 for each offense after that.  More than half the states have passed some sort of ban on texting while driving.

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