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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  • by Chris Location: Ladysmith on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
    Should be $100.00 forfeiture and one month suspension. That will make the teens think more then just the money would.
  • by Diane Location: Eau Claire on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM
    They didn't go far enough. The adults are just as dangerous, with cell phones, as the kids. I say emergency only in a vehicle, of any kind.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
    I've had 2 accidents in my lifetime. (over 40). One was the other drivers fault. The 2nd was mine. I was using my cell to text. lucky for everyone, I was on a frontage road and only traveling about 10 mph and hit the snowbank. DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE. I'm proof.
  • by John Location: New Auburn on Mar 17, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    I agree with Gary Sherwood 100%. No one should be allowed to talk on a hand held cell phone while the vehicle is in motion. Make it a $100.00 fine first offense, $500.00 second offense.
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