The Cheese State has passed a law prohibiting all cell phone use drivers, while operating a motor vehicle. Although Wisconsin law currently prohibits texting while driving, the new law provisions targets young driver statewide ages 18 and under, but also focuses on any drivers with probationary licensing. This includes drivers who previous license was in another country, new residents to the state with less than three years of driving experience and/or under the age of 21, and citizens with suspended permits and/or licenses. The law bans the use of cell phone usage will driving, whether a hands-free accessory accompanies it. The fines under the new provisions range from $20 – $40 for the first offense and $50 – $100 for subsequent convictions within the same year. The governor signed the law late March, and it took full effect throughout the state on November 1, 2012.
Is this enough? Granted Wisconsin has taken some initiative where other states have not, but as safe drivers, we must question is this a satisfactory solution? Although teens/young adults statically engage in distracted driving practices more than any other age group that does not mean that they are the sole source. Is it asking too much to require the same expectations of teens and young adults as we do their parents?
The fines put in place in Wisconsin and several states across the nation do not seem to put much pressure on distract drivers to put down the phone. There are parking tickets that cost more than $40, and speeding ticket prices drastically surpass $500 – $100. This being the case, are lawmakers really taking distracted driving as a serious issue? What do you think?