Some Rapids students want to ban using phones while driving - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Some Rapids students want to ban using phones while driving


 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- Some students at Wisconsin Rapids Junior High want to ban people from using their phones while they drive. Their plan is for everyone, not just teenagers.

"If something doesn't happen before we start driving, it could greatly affect all of our peers," said Hannah Kiiskila, a ninth grader at Wisconsin Rapids Junior High School.

Kiiskila and her friend, Lizzie Tapia, said they enjoy staying connected to their friends by talking on their phones. Many other junior high students would agree. But they said people need to draw the line on distracted driving, and not pass it.

"It's not just teenagers nowadays," said Tapia. "A lot of other age groups text and it's a real big thing now."

"It goes across the board," said Wisconsin Rapids Police Lieutenant Brian Krzykowski. "People are doing a lot of things they probably shouldn't be doing."

Krzykowski said everyone on the roads could be at risk for accidents and should pay attention while they're driving. Drivers in Wisconsin Rapids average about 700 car accidents per year and he said this effort could help promote safer roads.

"It's kind of encouraging that we have young leaders who are recognizing that this may cause a problem for them in their driving," said Krzykowski.

As with any plans for new law, not everyone supports it.

"They say they don't want just another rule or another law that's imposing on their freedoms," said Kiiskila.

But Kiiskila and Tapia said cell phones have become the issue of their generation. After doing some research, they brought their idea for a ban on phones while driving before the city council.

"They don't realize that we're going to be driving too," said Kiiskila. "It's not just going to be our problem. It's going to be everybody who drives, everyone who's on the road."

"You want to text because you want to text," said Tapia, "but if you just put it down, you could save a life or your life."

Kiiskila Tapia said they based their idea on Marshfield's cell phone ban, which went into effect in 2008, but they said it would be stricter. Reading texts and using iPods would also be against the rules. Their plan is still in the works but the Wisconsin Rapids City Council plans to vote on the ban next month.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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