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New Michigan Law Prohibits Teens From Using a Cell Phone While Driving

Snyder signed the bill into law Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.

A new Michigan law prohibits teen drivers from using a cell phone while driving a car.

According to MichiganVotes.org, Senate Bill 756 applies to any driver with a temporary drivers permit or a level 1 or 2 graduated license—meaning any driver under the age of 17. The law, building on current texting and driving laws, makes it a civil infraction for a teen to use a hands-on cell phone.

Dubbed "Kelsey's Law, the legislation is named for a 17-year-old Sault Ste. Marie girl who died in a car crash in 2010 while she was using her cell phone.

Snyder signed the bill into law Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.

The law passed 74-33 in the House of Representatives and 28-10 in the Senate.

Because violation of the law is a civil infraction, it is up to local municipalities to determine the fine.

The legislation adds to state driving laws that prohibit texting while driving.

In Michigan last year, drivers were reported to be distracted in 3,986 crashes, and using cell phones in 821 crashes.

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cscharlt January 11, 2013 at 02:16 PM
It's unfortunate that this is one of those laws that inconveniences the general public that has the mental fortitude to talk on a phone and operate a vehicle safely but it has to be done for the safety of the general public. If you are even in the least opposed to this, do me a favor and try this little experiment. And by try, I don't mean think about it and agree, but seriously try it. Next time you go to work, go run some errands etc. leave your cell phone(s) at home. Now every time you come to a stop at a light, turn etc. I want you to take a look around at the other drivers around you. I'll bet 50% of the people stopped under 40 have their face buried in their phones for the 20 seconds they're at a stop. Now next time you're at work going out for lunch, leave your phone behind and while you're on an elevator or standing in line, look around at everyone with their faces buried in the phones. Nobody interacts with anyone any more outside a small bubble. This law is important not only because it forces people to pay attention to the 2 ton vehicle they're operating but I think more importantly it curtails our societies developing indifference of the world that is occurring around them. It's ironic that the advent of mobile devices and social media has people disillusioned that they're more connected with anyone than ever, but in reality driving on a cell phone shows people prioritize a Facebook update or text message over the family of 3 in car in front of them.
michelle January 11, 2013 at 04:42 PM
The law is for teens only (at least at this point). Nothing for adults really changed. Although, I believe that I see more distracted adults driving. I think many teens are so scared that a lot are on best behavior. If anything the law should apply to anyone in a moving vehicle. The article states the "hands on the phone" and "teen drivers". It should be ANYONE with their HANDS ON a phone in a MOVING VEHICLE. There are so many hands free devices that there is no excuse to be using the phone in your hands while the car is moving. Obviously not using the phone in the car at all is optimal but of course with long commutes and so many things happening all the time people couldn't live with out it. If I didn't answer my phone (hands free in the car) when my son calls me, he would have a meltdown.

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