Fines for Novice Motorists Begin November 1st
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2012 -- No more talking on the phone while behind the wheel for new drivers in Wisconsin. Effective November 1st, Wisconsinites with an instruction permit or probationary license will be prohibited from using a cellphone while driving, except in cases of reporting an emergency. The largest group affected by the new law will be teenagers.
Many states, including Oregon and Washington, have already adopted laws prohibiting any cellphone use while driving for all drivers. The rationale behind the ban comes from studies that have shown that driving while talking on the phone is a form of ‘distracted driving’ that delays reaction times in drivers equivalent to driving drunk. While the Wisconsin law does not prohibit other drivers from using their mobile phones while driving, the practice is still discouraged.
Drivers caught violating the new law after November first will be fined from $20-$40 for a first offense and $50-$100 for a second offense committed within one year.
The law hopes to cut down on driving fatalities in Wisconsin-teens, a cause of death that Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, who is also the state director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety, says is the #1 cause of death for America’s teens:
“In a national study, 43% of 16 and 17 year-olds said they have talked on a cell phone while driving and 40% of teens up to age 17 said they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.”
The new law affects: drivers licensed in other countries, drivers with suspended or revoked instructional permits or probationary licenses, new state residents with fewer than three years of driving experience, new state residents under the age of 21, and new state residents who surrender a license that has been expired for more than six months.
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