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Teen driver cell phone bill

(WEAU) - Statistics show 16% of teen drivers involved in a deadly crash were reported to have been distracted.

That's why Representative Kathy Bernier from Chippewa Falls came up with Bill 291, which she hopes will keep the newest drivers attention on the road.

"I actually think that it's a good idea, I think that there really is no need to have to use your cell phone if you’re under the age of 18,” said 18 year old Nathan Shellenberger.

"I think it could be a good thing. I mean I see a lot of people using their cell phones while their driving,” said 17 year old Skylar Schrofe.

"It passed assembly unanimously so I think everyone understands the importance for our young people to not be distracted,” said 68th Assembly District Republican Kathy Bernier.

According to a study done by the University of Utah, using a cell phone while driving can delay a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol level of .08.

Even the Eau Claire Police Department agrees that teenage drivers will be safer when their not busy using their cell phones.

"It's a safety issue for us, and so teen drivers traditionally have a higher risk or a higher rate of traffic crashes and some of it comes from distracted driving,” said Bradley Venaas, Chief Deputy.

Garry Sherwood of Accountable Driver Education wants it to go a step further.

He thinks no one should be allowed to use a cell phone while driving.

"I think its dangerous anytime you use a cell phone in the car, I wish the law would include everybody but I think this is a good first start,” said Garry Sherwood, Driver’s Education Instructor.

But if this becomes a law, once teens get their full license privileges, it won't be illegal for them to use the phone anymore.

If the bill becomes law, it says teen drivers who are caught on the phone driving with a probationary license would be fined fifty dollars.


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