LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan lawmakers have passed a bill that would ban cellphone use by new drivers.
The Michigan Legislature passed the bill, known as “Kelsey’s Law,” 74-33 during a final legislative session that spanned two days and ended early Friday morning.
The law prohibits drivers with a level 1 or 2 probationary license from placing a call, answering a call, or listening to or engaging in “verbal communication through the cellular telephone.” It does not apply, however, to drivers using a voice-operated system that’s integrated into the vehicle. Violators face a $100 fine and a civil penalty.
Kelsey’s Law is supported by public safety and medical groups, which say the ban could save the lives of inexperienced drivers.
The bill is named after 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele, of Sault Ste. Marie, who died in a car crash while talking on her cell phone.
Bonnie Raffaele, Kelsey’s mother, said in a statement she is “deeply grateful” to lawmakers “who put partisan bickering aside to pass this important law.”
The bill, which was approved by the state Senate in a 28-10 vote in March, awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.
Other restrictions that drivers with a level 1 or 2 graduated license currently have to follow include no driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and having no more that one passenger who is less than 21-years-old at any given time – both which carry exceptions for employment and authorized school or religious activity, or accompaniment by a parent or legal guardian.
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