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Kelsey’s Law Passes, Prohibiting New Drivers’ Cell Phone Use While Driving

Michigan recently passed a new law, effective in March 2013, which prohibits new drivers from cell phone use while behind the wheel.

It’s always exciting for a teen to get his or her driver’s license.  It’s one step closer to independence and to growing up. For many new drivers, maintaining a clean driving record is a real challenge. When drivers are distracted by cell phone use, everyone on the road is put in danger. This is true for all drivers, but especially for new ones. Kelsey’s Law may encourage new drivers to practice safer driving.

Michigan recently passed a new law, effective in March 2013, which prohibits new drivers from cell phone use while behind the wheel. Beginning drivers are defined as those holding level I and level II graduated drivers licenses. The law does not apply to drivers holding full drivers licenses.

Beginning drivers would be permitted to make calls with voice-operated hands-free talking systems built into cars. They would also be permitted to make urgent phone calls to report traffic accidents, crimes and emergencies. 

The penalty for violation of the new law is a civil infraction, not a criminal misdemeanor like drunk driving. Local municipalities will determine the actual penalty. For more information on the penalty, contact the local court or a Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney.

Studies have shown that distracted driving from cell phone use is a serious problem. It takes the driver's attention away from the road and can be a significant cause of traffic accidents and violations. 

Beginning drivers tend to make more mistakes than seasoned drivers. New drivers tend to get more tickets and are involved in more accidents. Why? For the simple reason that beginning drivers are just that: beginners. Too many tickets and accidents can result in driver’s license restrictions and suspensions. Drivers who find themselves with restrictions or suspensions often pursue Michigan driver’s license restoration to regain their driving privileges. Therefore, if the new law reduces traffic incidents, it should reduce the need for Michigan driver’s license restoration appeals and the costs involved.

If beginning drivers obey the new law, it should reduce the amount of incidents caused by cell phone distraction. It’s important for new drivers to understand that this new law will help them maintain a better driving record, avoid driving sanctions, and avoid the often time-consuming task of driver’s license restoration in Michigan. Overall, Kelsey’s Law should help beginning drivers reach their driving objective: a full driver’s license.

Kelsey’s Law is named after a Michigan girl who was killed in a traffic crash while talking on a cell phone. Her mother championed passage of the law. 

Do you think the new law will reduce traffic violations and accidents?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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