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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 licenseā€”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 theĀ 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.

bitsy08 January 09, 2013 at 02:36 PM
While I'm happy they passed this law about teens, what's wrong with making it a mandate for all Michigan drivers? A friend's wife got in an accident the other day because she was on her phone and wasn't paying attention to her driving. It's absolutely unbelievable how stupid people can be. What the HELL is so important that you have to talk on the phone while driving, or grocery shopping, or eating in a restaurant? Cell phones are a big help but they're also the bane of our existence. I read about a restaurant in D.C. that has banned cell phones in the dining room. You can take your conversation outside or go to the restroom but they are not allowed in the dining room. I am SO tired of being forced to listen to phone conversations while I'm eating. It's downright rude to force other diners to listen. We have become a convenient and rude society. Good manners seem to be a thing of the passed. If you can't use your common sense, time to pass a law.
Tom B January 09, 2013 at 03:24 PM
No cell phone, no texting, no distracted driving, no Morris Hood.
City of Dearborn (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I have to say, I agree with you there, bitsy. What really drives me nuts is when people are on their cell phone at the gym! Why would you want everyone to hear your private conversation, there or anywhere else?
Concerned Parent January 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM
To play Devil's Advocate here: Does it hurt you in any way for someone to have to take a call while out shopping or eating out? I could say that I am sick of hearing some people's conversations with the people they are actually eating with when I am out eating. I am going to make other points in other posts. I write to much for just one post.
Concerned Parent January 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM
As for the talking while driving: I will agree that Some but not ALL should be banned from driving and talking on the phone. Not everyone is as distracted as your friend's wife who got into an accident and I see A LOT of HORRIBLE Driving while people are not even on their phones. Examples of such HORRIBLE driving are: Weaving in and out of traffic, NOT using turn signals, Excessive Speeds, cutting people off, Tailgating, some even drive to slow for the expressway or road they are driving on, Driving to fast or slow for road conditions, NOT getting over when you see disabled cars on the side of the road, NOT getting over when a cop is on the side of the road, NOT moving over and stopping for emergency vehicles (this goes for those that do not stop on green lights to allow the emergency vehicle through an intersection), and so on. I can tell you right now that Excessive Speed, NON-Use of Signals, Cutting people off, Tailgating and Driving to fast or slow for weather conditions are some of the biggest reasons for auto crashes. I do not believe in making a law that limits those that are able to do something just because some people can not do it. Unfortunately we live in a no fault insurance state where everyone pays for the HORRIBLE driving of others.
Concerned Parent January 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM
I would disagree with you also on the If you can not use common sense it is time to pass a law. That mentality is why people's rights are being taken away. Especially when it comes to parenting your child. Parents use to be able to punish their child in a way that they seen fit as long as they did not beat the child to death. Now if you slap a kids hand you can go to jail. I am not for beating a child at all but I will state that Children were much more well mannered when there was always that threat of a spanking. I actually BLAME the many laws telling parents how they can parent as being one of the biggest downfalls to society. Those that are good parents have paid the price so that people who are not intelligent, don't have common sense, and use and abuse their children are allowed to have kids. This country has taken away PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! They have given the child the excuse that it is someone elses fault. Let's add in that there that if a child misbehaves a lot or has other issues that they are diagnosing a child as having ADHD or something like that. ADHD is OVER-DIAGNOSED and children are medicated for no reason other then the fact that their parents are not parents and can not handle their child. Unfortunately, there is a mentality now that you need to be your child's best friend and not their parent. The other big change is that Mom use to stay home with the children and you only needed one person to work to provide for the family.
Lee Jacobsen May 29, 2013 at 06:41 AM
Cell phones are tied for third place in causing accidents. Drowsy driving, and eating food while driving are way ahead of cell phones as a cause for accidents. Interesting that we don't have specific laws prohibiting eating pressure cooker fried chicken or nodding off behind the wheel, yet target cell phones , which will become a moot issue in cars when they all convert to 'hands off' operation in the near future. Then folk will be talking to their car radio instead.
laplateau May 29, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Concerned Parent...you hit all the nails on the head! I agree with you wholeheartedly. Yes, some people are distracted while using their cell phones, but they are also distracted by so many other things a well...i.e., kids arguing in the back seat, eating/drinking while driving, changing radio stations, inserting a CD, talking to a passenger, GPS devices, etc, etc. Should pass a law requiring all of us to be muzzled so we can’t talk to each other in the same car, ban restaurant drive thrus so we can't stop to get a bag of burgers to eat while driving, outlaw the use of any electronic device? The liberal agenda with our leftist politicians is always MORE control over our lives under the shroud of “taking care of us” and making things better for society.

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