Gov. Snyder signs cellphone ban for novice drivers - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Gov. Snyder signs cellphone ban for novice drivers

Posted: Updated:

LANSING, Mich. (AP/WJBK) -- Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed a law prohibiting novice teen drivers from using a hand-held cellphone while behind the wheel, a nod to a grieving mother's push to enact the restrictions after her daughter was killed in a car crash.

The law "strikes our hearts in terms of making a difference in people's lives," the Republican governor said. He was joined at the bill signing by the family of Kelsey Raffaele, a 17-year-old from the Upper Peninsula town of Sault Ste. Marie who in the winter of 2010 veered into an oncoming vehicle on a slippery road while talking on her phone.

The law takes effect in late March and applies to holders of Level 1 licenses, who must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or another driver at least 21 years old. It also covers Level 2 licenses, which allow driving alone with limits on hours and carrying of young passengers.

A violation is a civil infraction and will not result in points being added to a driver's record.

Drivers with full privileges are exempted. Level 1 and 2 drivers can legally talk on a hands-free phone system integrated into their vehicles and can use a hand-held phone to report an emergency.

"I know that Kelsey is up in heaven just clapping and screaming for joy over this because of the lives that can be saved through (her) tragic death," said Bonnie Raffaele, Kelsey's mom, who hugged the Republican governor after he signed the bill sponsored by Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City.

Snyder said the law is "very personal" to him because he also has a daughter named Kelsey who recently got her driver's license.

Thirty-two states have similar laws.


"New young drivers have really not a lot of experience so they need to be paying really close attention to driving and study after study shows that talking on a cellphone while you're driving is just one of the most dangerous things you can do," says Nancy Cain, spokesperson for AAA Michigan.

In 2010, Michigan banned all drivers from texting and driving. Asked why not prohibit adults from using a cellphone while behind the wheel, Snyder told reporters he would wait to see more data, arguing that texting and driving is a definite distraction.

------
Senate Bill 756 is Public Act 592 of 2012: www.legislature.mi.gov

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Oakland Co. fighting the growing heroin epidemic

    Oakland Co. fighting the growing heroin epidemic

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:44:13 GMT
    A heroin epidemic is spreading across metro Detroit communities. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says cases are up more than 300 percent from last year, and that appears to be the trend everywhere.
    A heroin epidemic is spreading across metro Detroit communities. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says cases are up more than 300 percent from last year, and that appears to be the trend everywhere.
  • Jayru Campbell readmitted to Cass Tech

    Jayru Campbell readmitted to Cass Tech

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:41:37 GMT
    A spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools announced Wednesday afternoon Jayru Campbell has been readmitted to Cass Tech.
    A spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools announced Wednesday afternoon Jayru Campbell has been readmitted to Cass Tech.
  • Woman suspected of robbing 8 banks in custody

    Woman suspected of robbing 8 banks in custody

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:18:35 GMT
    A woman is in custody after the FBI believes she robbed multiple banks across metro Detroit.
    A woman is in custody after the FBI believes she robbed multiple banks across metro Detroit.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices