Spiros co-authors 100 percent hands-free cell phone bill
For Hub City Times
MADISON – Any and all use of a cell phone while operating a motorized vehicle in Wisconsin could soon be against the law; that is, unless it’s hands-free.
That’s according to State Representative John Spiros of Marshfield who’s co-authored a bill that would do just that.
“We’re looking to broaden this out for the whole state. Hands-free, blue tooth would be OK, pushing a button would be OK, but not having your phone up to your ear,” Spiros said.
Twenty other states including Minnesota and Illinois already prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and Spiros says many of those states have reported more than 20 percent reductions in traffic-related deaths.
“What we’re trying to do is really reduce fatalities,” Spiros explained. “We need to get people to understand that having that cell phone up to your ear, you’ve got only one hand on the wheel. You’re not really focused on driving and what you’re supposed to be doing.”
Many individual cities in Wisconsin already prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones; but statewide, hands-free-only devices are currently required only in school and construction zones. Texting while driving has been illegal in Wisconsin since 2010, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Spiros says the bill is receiving broad bi-partisan support, and could become law by the end of the current session sometime in early 2020.