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For Immediate Release,
12/18/2012
Contact:
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
kathy.lane@nsc.org
 
National Safety Council applauds Michigan Legislature for passing Kelsey’s Law
New legislation prohibits drivers with levels 1 and 2 licenses from using cell phones
 
Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council congratulates the Michigan Legislature for passing Senate Bill 756, which makes it a civil infraction for motorists with level 1 or level 2 probationary licenses – predominantly teens – to use cell phones while driving. The bill, also known as Kelsey’s Law, passed the state Senate in March and received approval in the House early in the morning Dec. 14 during a lame-duck session. It now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder to be signed into law.
 
The law is named in memory of 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. In January 2010, Raffaele was driving and talking on her cell phone when she caused a crash that took her life. Her mother, Bonnie, has been working to get the bill passed for a year and a half. If signed by Gov. Snyder, Michigan will be the 33rd state to pass a law prohibiting novice drivers from using cell phones.
 
“We are grateful Michigan lawmakers recognized the dangers of cell phone distracted driving and took action to protect teens,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO at NSC. “Measures such as Kelsey’s Law will help keep our roadways safer not only for teens in Michigan but for other motorists who share the roads with them. We are very hopeful that the governor will sign this into law so we can begin saving lives.”
 
NSC called for a total ban of all cell phone use while driving for all motorists in 2009. NSC estimates 1 in 4 crashes involve cell phone use, with about 1.1 million involving cell phone conversations. Drivers using cell phones are at least four times as likely to crash and research indicates hands-free devices offer no safety benefit because they do not eliminate cognitive distraction – the distraction of the brain.   
 
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to make an impact where the most preventable injuries and deaths occur, in areas such as distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and beyond the workplace, particularly in and near our homes.
 
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