New Law to Prohibit Cell Phone Use for many Wisconsin Drivers

By KBJR News 1

New Law to Prohibit Cell Phone Use for many Wisconsin Drivers

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 5:00 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter) -- A new law prohibiting the use of cell phone for many teen drivers will take effect on November 1.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that the new state law will prohibit drivers with an instruction permit or probationary license from 'using a cellular or other wireless telephone except to report an emergency' while driving.

A driver violating the new law will be issued a $20 to $40 fine for the first offense and $50 to $100 for a subsequent offense within a year.

"We hope that the new law will deter teenagers and other inexperienced drivers from using their cell phone while behind the wheel, which can be a dangerous distraction," says Wisconsin State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

The cell phone restrictions also apply to other drivers in Wisconsin, such as:
- Drivers licensed in other countries
- Persons with suspended or revoked instruction permits or probationary licenses
- New state residents who have fewer than three years of driving experience
- New state residents under the age of 21
- New state residents who surrender a license that is expired for more than six months

Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt