Cellphones and the youngest drivers don't go together safely, a majority of Michigan senators believe.
Under a proposal that passed the Senate by a 28-10 vote Thursday, teens with Level 1 or 2 graduated licenses could be ticketed and fined for driving while chatting on a phone – even in hands-free mode.
The bill now goes to the state House. Backers want to reduce risky distractions among newcomers behind the wheel. Some senators voted against the measure because they favor a broader crackdown, the Associated Press reports.
The legislation is called "Kelsey's Law" in memory of a Sault Ste. Marie 17-year-old who had a fatal crash while talking on her phone in 2010.
Teens with Level 3 licenses, typically issued to 17-year-olds, would be allowed to dial and drive. Level 2 drivers have curfew and passenger restrictions, while the first level lets teens drive only when an adult rides along.
One in five drivers using phones during Michigan crashes since 2002 were teens, MLive Media Group reports. State drivers aged 16 or 17 crashed 841 times during the past decade.
Thirty states restrict some or all drivers from cell use.