New Michigan Law Prohibits Teens From Using a Cell Phone While Driving
Dearborn legislator Rep. George Darany supported the legislation.
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. Dearborn Rep. George Darany supported the legislation, while Dearborn Sen. Morris Hood voted against it.
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 Dearborn, there were 23 traffic accidents involving distracted driving in 2011; in three of those, the driver responsible was using a cell phone, according to the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan. In 2010, 21 such crashes were reported; and in 2009, there were 19. Five of those accidents each year included use of a cell phone.
In Michigan last year, drivers were reported to be distracted in 3,986 crashes, and using cell phones in 821 crashes.