Eau Claire Police stress cell phone safety as new legislation lo - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire Police stress cell phone safety as new legislation looms


Eau Claire (WQOW) - If you've ever been lost behind the wheel, you know it can be a struggle. Well, proposed legislation could make you feeling more lost on a social level than ever before.

Wisconsin legislators are proposing to make it illegal to use your phone while driving for anything other than phone calls or GPS navigation. That's different than current legislation, which only outlaws texting or emailing in the driver's seat. The fine for texting and driving would also increase from $20 to $100.

Eau Claire Police told News 18 inattentive driving is the cause of nearly every crash they respond to, and say anything to keep phones out of site, out of mind, while on the road is a positive.

"Again, you're keeping your eyes off the road where it should be, so even if you hold the phone up by the steering wheel for example, you're looking at your phone focusing," Officer Tyler Stephens said. "You know you are trying to see what you're doing there and that's taking your eyes off the road and you know accidents happen quick."

The changes would bring Wisconsin's phone law more in line with other states, like Michigan and Minnesota, but would not go as far as Illinois, which only allows hands free operation of a phone while driving.

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