2015 Wisconsin Act 160 was signed by Governor Walker on Monday, February 29. The legislation, authored by Rep. Spiros (R – Marshfield) and Sen. Wanggaard (R – Racine) allows one to mount a monitoring and feedback device to the front windshield of a vehicle around the rearview mirror area. The legislation changes the previously existing provision that did not allow one to drive a vehicle with objects mounted on the windshield. The fast-tracked legislation passed the Assembly and the Senate in February floor sessions.
Vehicles under 10,000 pounds are subject to state regulations while vehicles over 10,000 pounds are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows commercial vehicles to place event recorders and driver management technology in the top two inches of the windshield wiper swept area. The legislation brings vehicles under 10,000 pounds (not regulated by federal law) in line with the exemption at the federal level.
The devices the legislation deals with are used in commercial and consumer vehicles to monitor and correct driving behavior. Devices such as these detect sudden or abrupt forces on the vehicle and then uploads a 12 second recording of the exterior and interior of the vehicle. This recorded data is then used and analyzed for driver coaching and incident reports in commercial and teen driving instruction. Supporters of the legislation point to studies reporting that these monitoring devices lead to safer driving habits and reduced collisions.