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Governor Signs Law Banning New Teen Drivers from Talking on Cell Phones while Driving

courtesy Governor Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder today signed Kelsey’s Law to help protect Michigan’s young, inexperienced drivers and other motorists.

Senate Bill 756 bans cell phone use for anyone driving on a Level 1 or Level 2 graduated driver license in Michigan.

The new law is named in honor of 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele of Sault Ste. Marie who died tragically in a cellphone-related automobile crash in 2010.

At the bill signing, Snyder said the bill means a lot to him “both as governor and as a parent of a young person who is learning to drive.” He added he appreciated “the efforts of Kelsey’s mother, Bonnie, and family who have worked tirelessly to get the message out about the dangers of distracted driving.”

The new law allows for primary enforcement by police, though in most cases it will be enforced after the detection of another moving violation. A violation of the law will result in a civil infraction to be determined by the local jurisdiction. No points will be assigned to the driver’s record and drivers will not be punished for using a vehicle’s integrated hands=free phone system or for using cell phones to report an emergency.

The new law will take effect in March.

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