Hands-Free Driving Bill Introduced

Wisconsin legislators have introduced a bill (SB 522/AB 582) that would ban use of wireless communication devices while driving, except for hands-free use. The bill would put Wisconsin in line with nearly 20 states that ban handheld cell phone use while driving, including neighboring state Minnesota, which recently passed a similar law.

The bill provides exceptions for law enforcement or uses related to an emergency. Violation of the prohibition would result in a forfeiture of up to $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $150 for subsequent offenses.

The bill has bipartisan support, with Sens. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) & Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and Reps. John Spiros (R-Marshfield), Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire) & Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) as lead authors. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation, Veterans & Military Affairs and the Assembly Committee on State Affairs.