Thanks in part to a national campaign sponsored by AAA, the act of composing or sending electronic text messages while driving will become illegal in Wisconsin effective Wednesday, December 1, 2010.
Wisconsin joins 30 other states in enacting this legislation, which prohibits behind-the-wheel texting via cell phones, laptop computers plus a host of other wireless communication devices. Authorized emergency personnel will be exempt as will the use of global positioning devices (GPS).
The Penalties for Texting
Under Wisconsin law, texting while driving will be classified as a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over and ticketed based on a text messaging offense alone. Violators will face fines ranging from $20 to $400.
Ban Backed by Public
This welcome reform stems from a groundswell of public support - punctuated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's findings attributing nearly 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries in 2008 to distracted driving habits - such as texting.
Additional findings have shown that individuals who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-distracted drivers. Wisconsin's new anti-texting law will help reduce this dangerous behavior and lead to safer roadways.
For more information on the dangers of distracted driving, plus tips on managing distractions, AAA encourages you to read The Facts About Distracted Driving.
I don't do any texting so I don't really understand the obsession some people have for it. I don't even feel comfortable talking on my cell phone for very long while driving or trying to find a contact in my phone. I cannot imagine trying to send and receive text messages. To me, it seems incredibly obvious that you should never text and drive - but obviously not. Otherwise there wouldn't be a need for a law to prevent it.