EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WEAU)--Studies show strict driving laws help keep teenagers safe behind the wheel.
Now a new law in Wisconsin starting November 1st will ban anyone with a permit or probationary license from talking on the phone, texting or using any other device in the car.
The Law will primarily affect teens and new drivers to the state. Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. Mike Newton says talking on the phone is just as much of a distraction as texting.
"When you look at distractions they are taking your hands off the wheel, taking your eyes off the road and taking your mind off of driving. When you are using you cell phone all three of those things are in play,” said Paula Pater with Chippewa Valley Safe Kids Coalition.
The Wis State Patrol says new research shows that talking on the phone can impair your driving as much as drugs and alcohol.
"The drifting in the lanes and not paying attention all the things people do while they are under the influence people are doing when they are talking on the phone as well," said Sgt Mike Newton.
Newton says the law is meant to make people stop and think before they dial.
And he says officers will be watching.
“A lot of its going to come down to officers in the area saying ‘hey I know that kid, he is in high school kid,’ and when they see drivers weaving we can talk stop the person,” said Newton.
The fine for violating the law the first time is $20-40 plus court costs. Which Newton says adds up to around 160 dollars.
For a second offense the initial fine can be as large as 100 dollars plus court costs.