Young drivers can't talk on cell phones starting Thursday - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Young drivers can't talk on cell phones starting Thursday

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"When you're out there driving, your primary job is to drive," said Lieutenant Michael Shaw.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) "When you're out there driving, your primary job is to drive," said Lieutenant Michael Shaw. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

A new law banning young drivers from talking on the phone while behind-the-wheel goes into effect on Thursday.  However, it is a good idea for drivers of all ages to follow the new rule.

Earlier today when I was driving to work, I was using my cell phone.  All it took was a split second, but I hit a patch of ice and spun around twice on I-94. Thankfully, about 20 other drivers avoided hitting me.  I was facing oncoming traffic and somehow lived to talk about it.

"When you're out there driving, your primary job is to drive," said Lieutenant Michael Shaw with Michigan State Police.  "It's not to be on the cell phone or anything else like that.  Even with some of the hands-free devices, it still takes part of your brain to kind of listen to the conversation, think about what you're going to say next, and it's only a split second before you either end up spinning out on the freeway or you end up rear-ending somebody."

Drivers beware.  Troopers are watching for people who are texting while driving, and they will pull you over for it.  As of February 2012, over 1,100 drivers have been ticketed since the texting and driving ban went into effect in July 2010.

This month, Kelsey's law will be enforced for young drivers.

"Kelsey's law, which takes effect, kind of affects graduated drivers, I think it's Level 1 and 2, where they're actually not allowed to talk on the cell phone, either," Shaw said.

"The texting while driving law just pertains to texting. The problem with that particular law is it's difficult to interpret because you have to actually see if somebody's actually texting or not.  Our troopers have seen people do that.  One example is a trooper was proceeded on 696 near the 275 interchange, saw a person driving at a high rate of speed, pulled up to pace with them.  That individual was doing 90 miles an hour driving with her knees and texting on her cell phone.  She did get a ticket from us."

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