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Michigan Senate Passes Drive-By Porn Bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved a bill intended to stop motorists from showing pornography in a vehicle so it can seen by others on the road.

The bill would prohibit the “reckless” display of sexually explicit material inside a vehicle.

The Senate voted 36-2 to send the legislation to the House. Democratic Minority Leader Bob Emerson of Flint and Democratic Sen. Burton Leland of Detroit voted “no.”

People would be guilty only if a member of the general public had to watch the video unwillingly and was incapable of taking reasonable steps to avoid being exposed to it.

The first offense would bring a possible $1,500 fine, the second a $5,000 fine. A third violation would be a misdemeanor — punishable by a maximum 93 days in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Alan Sanborn of Richmond, says he introduced the “commonsense” legislation after hearing from a constituent who was stuck in traffic with her children behind a motorist showing porn in the vehicle ahead of them.

The bill could run into problems if it is signed into law, though. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has questioned whether it is written too broadly and subject to a free speech challenge.

As vehicles with DVD players are becoming increasingly popular, some people on the road are catching a glimpse of X-rated material.

A driver in Schenectady, N.Y., was arrested last year after rolling past police with a pornographic DVD playing on the passenger-side sun visor in his Mercedes-Benz, authorities said.

The Flint City Council passed an ordinance last year imposing a $500 fine on drivers who play porn in their vehicles.

The drive-by porn bill is Senate Bill 131.

 

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