Michigan drivers react to "Kelsey's Law" - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michigan drivers react to "Kelsey's Law"

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The death of a teenager in Michigan, prompted the state to act.

Kelsey's Law, in honor of Kelsey Raffaele, goes into effect Thursday.

The 17-year-old was killed in a crash while using her cellphone in 2010.

Michigan drivers say they see the dangers of using phones while behind the wheel.

"I know a lot of students who text and drive and it's actually pretty scary seeing them drive because they swerve all over the place," says 17-year-old Sophie Queisi.

Queisi has been driving for a little more than a year. She says she's only used her phone once while driving and won't do it again.

"I don't text and drive because I don't want to die," says Queisi.

Queisi and other drivers think Kelsey's Law is a good thing.

"I see it all the time. Just yesterday I almost got hit by someone who was on the phone," says Ken Ham, who is the parent of a teenage driver.

The law bans 16 and 17 year old drivers, those with a level 1 or a level 2 drivers license from using a handheld phone while driving.

"Obviously if we're able to observe it, we'll enforce it that way. Also, if there's a traffic crash that occurs from this then possibly through the investigation we'll find they were using a cellular device," says Michigan State Police Trooper Ryan Codde.

Breaking the law is a civil infraction, or fine, with no points on a license. MSP says the amount of the fine will be left up to individual public safety departments.

Troopers say it's a law they have no problem enforcing.

"It takes most of your concentration away from the road and onto that mobile device when you're doing that so I'm happy to see something taking into effect to try to keep everyone safer on the road," says Codde.

Parents say they're not worried about being able to get in touch with their teen drivers.
They say, better safe than sorry.

"Wait til they're at a stop and pulled over. Then call," says Ham.

Queisi says, "I usually have someone else pick up the phone for me. There's other ways of using your phone than you actually using it in the car."

The law doesn't apply to drivers who using a hands-free device.

Michigan already has a law that bans all drivers from texting while driving.

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