Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at WauwatosaNow.com, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.
Wisconsin State Statute 346.89(3)(a)
No person may drive any motor vehicle while composing or sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message
First-time offenders could be fined between $20 and $400 dollars if they are pulled over for texting and will also have 4 demerit points added to their license. Second-time offenders could rack up fines from $200 to $800.
By comparison and with information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, first-offense drunken driving in Wisconsin merits a fine of $150 to $300. Speeding 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit results in a $188 fine.
The new ban is also a primary law, which means officers can pull over drivers solely for texting without having to identify another violation first, such as speeding or a lane violation, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
31 States have banned texting while driving after an increase of traffic accidents directly related to texting while driving. Texting while driving causes greater impairment than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. Studies show that you are 23 times more likely to cause an accident if you are under the influence of alcohol while driving, and believe it or not, 25 times more likely if you are texting while driving!