Community unity on cell phone ban? Not so much - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Community unity on cell phone ban? Not so much

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- It's been one month since the city of Wausau banned drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel.

Some drivers, such as Tony West of Schofield, have had to get used to it.

I've been a person that would answer my phone at stops or text messages that, when I'm at a stoplight, I'd check it,” said West.

That's not allowed anymore. The hand-held cell phone ban passed unanimously last month. Since then, we've watched to see if other communities would follow suit.

But Newsline 9 has learned instead of jumping on board, several surrounding communities have decided not to take any action on a ban: Kronenwetter, Rib Mountain, and Schofield.

Schofield Mayor Ken Fabel told Newsline 9 the council made that decision just this week. He said members were reluctant to pass a ban since other surrounding communities weren't doing it either.

This decision not to take action comes despite a lot of discussion about it that took place not just in Wausau, but across the entire metro area. At a meeting in January at Wausau City Hall, community leaders said it made sense to tackle this issue together.

But as of now, Wausau is the only municipality to pass a ban.

Kinda shocked in a way,” said West about Schofield's decision to not pass a ban. “Usually this area's all unionized on kind of when one law passes through, bans and all that, they usually go together.”

So for now, drivers in much of the Wausau metro area are free to use their phones. But once they cross the border into the city, it's time to put those phones away.

Newsline 9 was unable to reach leaders in Rothschild or Weston to talk about any possible plans for a cell phone ban.

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