Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Governor Doyle Signs Legislation to Ban Texting While Driving

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law legislation that will prohibit texting while driving in Wisconsin . Assembly Bill 496 prohibits sending an e-mail or text message while driving, with certain exceptions, and imposes a fine of between $20 and $400, effective December 1, 2010. Twenty-three other states and Washington , D.C. have all enacted similar legislation.

“For far too long, inattentive driving has been a serious problem in Wisconsin and across the country,” Governor Doyle said. “This bill is an important step to make our roads safer and save lives.”

Governor Doyle thanked Representatives Barca, Turner and Bernard Schaber and Senators Lehman and Lasee for their work on the bill.

Since taking office, Governor Doyle has taken several important steps to make citizens safer on Wisconsin ’s roads. In 2003, Governor Doyle signed into law a bill that lowered Wisconsin ’s allowable blood alcohol level for drivers from .10 to .08, making Wisconsin ’s highways safer for families. In December 2009, the Governor signed legislation that makes a fourth drunk driving offense a felony and requires ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders. In addition, Governor Doyle’s most recent budget allows a law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle solely on reasonable suspicion that the driver is not wearing a seat belt.

Thanks to the Governor’s efforts, the number of fatalities on Wisconsin roadways has dropped significantly. Last year, 545 people were killed in Wisconsin crashes, the lowest total since 1944.


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