Law bans cell phone use for new drivers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Law bans cell phone use for new drivers


New drivers have a lot to focus on when they get their license.

"With everything going on, it's extremely overwhelming," said Alexis Free, a Marshfield High School 11th grader.

Lawmakers want to make sure their focus is on the road by taking their hands off their cell phones.

A law going into effect Thursday bans Wisconsin drivers with a probationary license from all cell phone use when they are behind the wheel, but some people say the threat of a ticket will not be enough to stop young drivers from using their phones.

"Young people have a tendency to think that it won't happen to me," said Bill Zuiker, a Marshfield parent.

Even Zuiker's son, an 11th grader at Marshfield High School, sometimes uses his phone while driving.

"The chances of me getting picked up for talking on the phone… I just don't think are very much. I think I'd be able to get away with it," said Lucas Zuiker.

Officials say the law is more about safety than citations.

"It's important for kids to know that anything that you do to distract your attention away from the driving scene is a danger for yourself and for everyone else on the road," said Brenda Konrardy, Marshfield High School Drivers' Education Instructor.

Police say distracted driving is dangerous for anyone, no matter what your age, but the law aims to foster good skills behind the wheel for young drivers.

"The emphasis is to create safe driving behaviors, and if you start at an early age, the hope is that they will be ingrained, and they will continue to follow those same steps as they mature and continue to drive," said Lt. Darren Larson, Marshfield Police Department.

Police say their main goal is to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving.

New drivers who are pulled over for using their cell phone can expect a ticket anywhere between $20 and $40 for a first offense.


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