Cell phone use while driving is a serious problem in Wisconsin, and throughout the United States. A dangerous habit, no matter where you are, it can be especially problematic in work zones, where things can change in an instant and workers are often present. Wisconsin has responded to the issue by passing a new law that will make it illegal to use a cell phone and drive while in a construction zone, starting October 1st.
New Law Comes with Hefty Penalties
Telling drivers that cell phone use behind the wheel is dangerous does not do the trick – climbing rates of distracted driver accidents throughout the country, despite awareness efforts, have proven that. So lawmakers are taking a new approach. As of October 1st, anyone caught using a cell phone without a hands-free device in work zones will face a $40 fine for their first offense, and a $100 fine for any violations after. Those making emergency calls to 911 will be the exception, but do not expect to e able to use this excuse unless you are actually calling an emergency number.
Understanding the Reason Behind the New Law
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), distracted driving causes more than 24, 000 crashes throughout the state each and every year. Essentially, that is one accident every 20 minutes. Nearly 2, 000 of them occur within work zones. The presence of workers, heavy machinery vehicles, narrowed roadways, concrete barriers, and other construction-related obstacles often make these crashes especially devastating. Workers, other drivers, and even the distracted driver themselves are all at risk for injury or fatality.
Law enforcement hopes that, by implementing the new law, drivers will not only be reminded to abandon cell phone use within work zones – they want drivers to remember that any cell phone use behind the wheel, regardless of location, is dangerous. Maybe, by being reminded of this fact, via the signs that will be posted just before work zones, will help them to put their phones down more often, in and out of work zones, and eventually reduce the number of distracted driving accidents in Wisconsin.
Our Appleton Auto Accident Attorneys Help Victims Seek Compensation
Sadly, it is unlikely that the new law will completely eliminate distracted driver accidents in Wisconsin. When these accidents happen, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. will be there, ready to represent the victims of these accidents. We understand the devastation and losses they often experience, and we fight aggressively to help them get the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been a victim in a distracted driver accident, contact our Appleton, Wisconsin auto accident attorneys for help. Call 920-739-7366 today.