New Michigan Law Prohibits Teens From Using a Cell Phone While Driving
Farmington area legislators supported the bills approved last year by the state House and Senate.
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 while behind the wheel.
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. State Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-37th District) and State Sen. Vince Gregory (D-14th District), both of whom represent Farmington and Farmington Hills, supported the legislation.
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.
Farmington Hills Police reported 55 traffic accidents involving distracted driving in 2011; in 17 of those, the driver responsible was using a cell phone, according to the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan. Farmington Public Safety reported just two distracted driver crashes that same year, neither related to cell phone use.
Across the state, drivers were reported to be distracted in 3,986 crashes, and using cell phones in 821 crashes in 2011.