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Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Senate committee votes to support cellphone ban for teen drivers

By Staff

The Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee voted Tuesday to support a bill that would ban cellphone use by novice drivers, according to an MLive report.


The crash scene after Kelsey Raffaele's car and a Dodge Durango crashed Jan. 24, 2010.

MLive Media Group photo

The bill, which would prohibit cellphone use by drivers on their probationary licenses, is now headed to the full Senate, the report said.

Bonnie Raffaele, the mother of 17-year-old Kelsey, who died while talking on her cellphone, testified during the Senate hearing last week. Kelsey was trying to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road. Her best friend, driving behind her, witnessed the crash.

The bill prohibits cellphone use by drivers with a Level 2 graduated license, when 16-year-olds can drive without an adult. Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, added an amendment making cellphone use by teen drivers a primary offense, giving police officers the authority to stop teen drivers for cellphone use without another infraction, MLive reported.

Read the full MLive story.


Rugeirn Drienborough

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

All forms of distracted driving should be offenses, and for all drivers regardless of age. The driver's attention should be firmly fixed on the road and the traffic. Turn off the cell phone, shut down the animated conversation, and turn off the radio too!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

All drivers using hand held Cell phones should be ticketed not just teens or novice drivers. We were behind a car weaving back and forth between centerline and edge of the road the other day, when we got to where the road was 2 lanes we went around her. The wife looked over at the lady driving and said she is texting on her phone. This was while driving right through the center of Saline at rush hour.NOT A TEEN either.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Ban cell phones by all while driving, common sense. Two days ago while waiting for the green at S Maple and Scio Church, I saw a 40 something woman smash into a car waiting for the green on the opposing (bridge) side. Unbelievably, when the smashed into woman got out to check damage and talk to the other woman, still talking on cell she said "hang on a sec, will ya"!!!!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

Pie in the sky ..old farts thinking they can control teens..good luck ...


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

The nanny state yet again stepping up for parents not doing their job.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Agree, we need to ban cell phone use in the automobile for everyone.

C. S. Gass

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 10:31 a.m.

There is no way I can tell if someone is 16, 17 or 18 when they are driving down the road. Signing this into law just gives the small but growing (due to laws like this that encourage 'speculation' on what/who is in a car) population of honor challenged law enforcers out there the green light to harass kids more than they do now. The graduated driving law is already an unwieldy mess that I rarely, if ever, enforce. I simply do not have the patience required to figure out another of Michigan's 'save us from the Big Bad of the week' laws. I also find it funny that we keep passing new laws and more draconian laws for 16 and 17 year olds. They can't vote. They have no say. They can't fight back, at all. Talk about bullying. The State of Michigan is the BIGGEST BULLY ON THE BLOCK!!! This state seriously needs to stop trying to life-proof life. To be honest, I can't wait to retire, so I don't have to support laws like this, or at least act like I do.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

Why did they ban cell phones instead of recklessly passing in the snow when there's oncoming traffic? And how can the police possibly tell if someone is 17, 18, or 19 just by looking at them (quite possibly with the view of their face blocked by a phone)?


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:57 a.m.

Perhaps too busy being angry? Please be apprised that reckless driving/passing laws already exist. Now the real work at hand... get cars off the roads


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

YAY! Now we just need to do the same thing for everyone else.