Kelsey's Law aims to keep young drivers off the phone
NILES, Mich.-- A new law takes effect Thursday that aims to keep Michigan drivers under the age of seventeen off their phones while behind the wheel.
Kelle Krcmarik's 16-year-old son is eager to get his drivers license, but she's a little hesitant.
"He's almost there to where we're gonna let him take his driver's test and drive on his own," said Kelle Krchmarik, mother of three. "But it's these types of things that have kept me from letting him get the license yet. He turned 16 at the end of January."
She says there's already so many distractions for young drivers--why add in a cell phone?
"I'm just not comfortable yet, so this law makes me feel a lot better," said Kelle.
The law is Kelsey's law. It's named after 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele who died in tragic cell-phone related crash three years ago.
"It prohibits anyone with a graduated one or two drivers license for using a mobile device for answering it, making calls, texting," said Trooper Ryan Codde, Michigan State Police.
Jack has driven with his permit for almost a year and realizes the dangers. He says TV advertising is one of the reasons he doesn't want to risk using his phone.
"Everytime I watch a football game or basketball game there's an ad about someone going through a horrific treatment and physical therapy from a bad car accident from texting," said Jack.
He hopes his friends will also put their phones in park--even though his friends often seem addicted to the devices.
"It's always been there, we always have it on us."
And while he's practicing on the road, Jack's mother points out all the ways cell phones turn once-good drivers into stupid drivers.
"They don't see stop signs, they don't see pedestrians, they don't see lights that are changing," said Kelle.