Police focusing on education, not enforcement, with teen driver cell phone ban The state’s new cell

Mar 28, 2013

The state’s new cell phone ban for drivers under the age of 17 takes effect Thursday.

Credit WKAR File Photo / WKAR-MSU

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, police say the law is more about education than enforcement.

Don’t expect to see a flood of added patrols looking for teens on their cell phones. Michigan police say the ban is a tool to educate kids about the dangers of distracted driving.

Some local officials say the law will be hard to enforce. They say it means having to judge someone’s age based on how they look.

But Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw says there are a lot of ways to enforce the ban.

“Our troopers are pretty smart guys out there, and gals,”  he says.  “And they can take a look at somebody and decide if they should be talking on a cell phone or not.”

The state is also launching a public information campaign to go along with the new law. It will include billboards, brochures, and posters urging teens to put down their phones while driving.