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As I See It

Ending talking on the phone while behind the wheel shouldn’t take that long

Scott Robert Shaw



The process of creating laws works notoriously slowly. But when it comes to keeping Wisconsin drivers safe on our roads shouldn’t take that long or be that difficult. Some Wisconsin lawmakers are working to adopt legislation making it illegal for drivers to talk on their cell phones behind the wheel. Wisconsin has had a law on the books prohibiting texting while driving since 2010. But other than in work zones, there are no restrictions on talking on your phone, with your phone in one hand and the other on the wheel. This bill would change that. Minnesota adopted a law earlier this year forcing drivers to put down their cell phones. At least 15 states current have hands-free laws for cell phones. And there is evidence that such legislation helps save lives. Twelve of those states saw a decrease in the number of fatalities on their roads within two years of the law’s passage. Some saw their fatality rates drop by as much as 20%. Rep. John Spiros is currently working on the legislation, and says it could be finalized yet this month. Wisconsin lawmakers should make scheduling debate on this issue a priority, before we have more fatalities caused by people distracted by their cell phones when they should be focusing on the road.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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    George Caplan

    September 25, 2019 at 5:28 am

    I know texting and talking on the phone is distracting but deaths becuase of auto accidents have been on a steady decline since more and more people have gotten cell phones. Maybe cell phones arent the issue.

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