Proposed bill aims to punish 'data-distracted' drivers in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. - Three Republican legislators have introduced legislation aimed at punishing "data-distracted" drivers in Wisconsin.

The bill would update and expand Wisconsin's texting while driving laws to address new technologies and electronic devices.

“This bill expands the scope of distracted driving beyond the current texting and emailing prohibition to include Facebook posting, tweeting, and snapchatting,” said Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), “By doing so, it will make roads safer and adapt to future technologies that may distract drivers.”

Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) co-authored the bill with Tusler. The three said they're trying to keep the roads of Wisconsin safe.

Wisconsin has a high accident rate caused by distracted drivers, according to Rep. Tusler.

The penalties if someone is caught using any kind of device while driving range from a minimum of $100 to $400. 

"If you're going down the road, and I see a lot of people do this, they have their phone on the dashboard and they're paying attention to their phone when they should be watching straight ahead," said Curtis Maclavain, a driver from Appleton. "It's an accident waiting to happen." 

A law banning texting while driving was enacted in Wisconsin in 2010.

The bill was just introduced. Rep. Tusler said he hopes Governor Walker will sign the bill by the fall.

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