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New Michigan Law Prohibits Teens From Using a Cell Phone While Driving

Livingston County legislators Rep. Bill Rogers and Rep. Cindy Denby supported the legislation.

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.

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. Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) and Rep. Cindy Denby (R-Hartland) supported the legislation, while Sen. Joe Hune (R) voted against it.

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.

There were 4,315 accidents in Livingston County in 2011. In 20 of those, the driver responsible was using a cell phone, according to the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan. In addition, 104 of those accidents were reported as driver distracted, meaning any type of distraction that could occur while driving a vehicle.

In Michigan last year, drivers were reported to be distracted in 3,986 crashes, and using cell phones in 821 crashes.

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