It’s my opinion that such a law in Wisconsin is long – very long – overdue.
I will admit to partaking in “texting and driving” a handful of times, and it is extremely dangerous. It is simply not possible to keep one’s full attention on the road when trying to text while driving.
We know that research in the last couple of years has found that people cannot successfully multitask: something we once thought was possible. Texting and driving is no exception: you can’t do both at the same time successfully. Either your texting is poor (God forbid) or your driving suffers (much more serious and potentially fatal). If you’re caught texting while driving – and yes, the cops can swipe your phone to verify their suspicions – expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $400 for a ticket. The average ticket will be about $188 the State Patrol said.
That all said, there are a few loopholes in this legislation that leave room for people to continue to drive inattentively. The law states that the typing and sending of messages is illegal. However, the reading of messages and surfing the internet while driving continues to be legal. I don’t agree with those important pieces being left out of the puzzle, but am happy that this legislation is a step in the right direction. Currently there are “inattentive driving” laws in place, so if you’re swerving and not paying attention to the road – even if you weren’t texting – you’ll most likely be paying a decent-sized fine.
David Collins, head of the Wisconsin State Patrol, recently stated in an interview, “No text message is worth a human life.” It’s a profoundly true statement. So people: pull over if you really have to text. It’s worth taking a minute of your time to leave the road and be safe on the road – both for yourself and for others who share the road.