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Wisconsin lawmakers propose restrictions on cell phones while driving

in News

By Shereen Siewert

A Wisconsin lawmaker is drafting legislation that would prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones behind the wheel at all times.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, is drafting the hands-free legislation, which is expected to be finalized this month. The state’s current law only applies to drivers traveling through work zones.

Minnesota passed a similar hands-free law that went into effect in August. In Illinois, drivers have been prohibited from using anything other than a hands-free device since 2014.

To date, 20 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

No states have passed laws banning cell phone use altogether, though the National Safety Council cautions that using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Texting while driving has been illegal since 2010 in Wisconsin.

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