Teenagers in the state of Wisconsin should take note: using a cellphone behind the wheel of an automobile is about to become illegal.
Starting November 1, texting, talking, or engaging in some other activity on a cellphone while driving will be against the law for all those who possess a probationary license, and that means that teenagers are the largest demographic affected by the ban. Teens from nearby states like Minnesota who have a provisional license are also affected. But the law also targets groups not typically included within such a ban. People younger than 21 who have just moved to the state are banned from using a cellphone, as are residents moving to Wisconsin from other countries.
In any case, violations will cost the driver from $20 to $40. Second offenses range from $50 to $100. And going beyond bans passed in other locales such as right here in California, even hands-free cellphones are illegal under the new ordinance. Wisconsin State Troopers hope that the new law can help cut down on the number of fatal crashes that stem from cellphone usage. It’s estimated that 11% of fatal crashes occur because one of the drivers involved was distracted in some way.
Hopefully all drivers will see the value in this law and refrain from driving while distracted. Teens are most at risk, but all drivers can have their driving ability compromised by cellphones and other things that take focus away from the road.