Safety & Compliance

Wisconsin Joins List of States to Outlaw Texting While Driving

May 05, 2010

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Wisconsin has become the 25th state to pass a ban on texting while driving, as Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill into law recently.
Under Wisconsin's new law, first-time violators face fines of $20 to $400, along with four points on their driving records. Second-time violators face fines of $200 to $800. (Photo by Jim Park)
Under Wisconsin's new law, first-time violators face fines of $20 to $400, along with four points on their driving records. Second-time violators face fines of $200 to $800. (Photo by Jim Park)
The new law outlaws texting by all drivers.

"Distracted driving is an epidemic that kills thousands and injures hundreds of thousands more each year," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "So we're thrilled to reach the halfway mark toward laws in every state against this dangerous practice. Everyone on Wisconsin's roads will be safer because this law is on the books."

Under the new law, effective Dec. 1, first-time violators face fines of $20 to $400, along with four points on their driving records. Second-time violators face fines of $200 to $800. The law is primary, meaning police officers can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.

The U.S. Department of Transportation released a sample bill for state legislatures to use as a starting point to craft measures to ban texting. Last year, more than 200 distracted driving bills were under consideration by state legislatures, and the pace is expected to increase this year, the DOT says.

For more information about the DOT's efforts to combat distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.

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