Editorial: Texting ban for teens helps all of us

Sometimes we think that in the last 10 years, any person under 30 must have been born with a cell phone in their hand.

Yes, that was a stereotype. Yet we believe readers will agree with us that the observation is a lot closer to the truth than not.

Thus, when it comes to new drivers on the road, we believe it only makes sense to ban them from using cell phones.

The Michigan Legislature agreed, and late last year approved legislation doing just that. Under a law being referred to as “Kelsey’s Law,” drivers with Level 1 and 2 driver’s licenses are banned from using cell phones while driving. Level 1 licenses require another adult in the car, while level 2 licenses carry restrictions on when the drivers can use the vehicle, and how many passengers they can carry in a car.

The legislation was prompted after 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele of Sault Ste. Marie died in a 2010 auto accident after becoming distracted while using her cell phone.

“Teens are our most vulnerable drivers and distractions such as cell phones can increase their already high crash risk,” Janet Froetscher, president and CEO at the National Safety Council, said. “Gov. (Rick) Snyder and the entire Michigan Legislature should be proud of this piece of legislation. Laws prohibiting cell phone distractions save lives.”

We agree. Driving requires one’s full concentration and the more we can ensure that for new drivers, the better it is for all of us.