Wisconsin Updates Cell Phone Laws

Wisconsin Cell Phone Law

Wisconsin Cell Phone Law
Wisconsin bans the use of a cell phone while driving for young drivers with an instruction permit.

The new the cell phone restrictions also apply to other drivers with a Wisconsin probationary license, such as:

  • Drivers licensed in other countries.
  • Persons with suspended or revoked instruction permits or probationary licenses.
  • New state residents who have fewer than three years of driving experience.
  • New state residents under the age of 21.
  • New state residents who surrender a license that is expired for more than six months.

The ban on use of all cell phones by novice drivers goes into effect November 1, 2012. It applies to all cell phone use (handheld or hands-free), except if used in emergencies.

Traffic crashes kill more teenagers in Wisconsin and the rest of the nation than any other cause of death. And distracted driving is a factor in many of these crashes“, says Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety.

11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

A total of 32 states and the District of Columbia now ban all cell phone use by novice drivers.

Fines for violating the new cell phone law are $20-$40 for the first offense. For subsequent convictions within a year, fines are $50 to $100

Texting while driving is prohibited in Wisconsin since December 2010. This law applies to all motorists.

To prevent distractions from cell phone use and texting while driving, the State Patrol advises all drivers to:

  • Turn off your phone or switch to a silent mode.
  • Use voice mail to tell callers that you’re driving and will return the call as soon as possible.
  • If you absolutely need to use your cell phone to call or text, pull over to a safe area.
  • Ask a passenger to make a call or text for you.


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