A state lawmaker wants to prevent text messages from being sent while driving.
Legislation being proposed by State Senator Alan Lasee (R-De Pere) would make it illegal for drivers to send text messages from a cell phone, while they're behind the wheel. Lasee says the use of cell phones to send messages is climbing among young people, and that behavior is taking place while they're behind the wheel. He says it leads to inattentive driving that can have serious and deadly consequences.
Lasee points a recent case in New York as an example of why the bill is needed. Five people were killed when the driver of the car they were in crashed while sending a text message on her cell phone.
Drivers would face a $400 fine for the first offense, with fines increasing and possible jail time if a texting driver causes an accident. Lasee says he wants the bill to carry serious penalties so people know it the behavior will not be tolerated.
Nine other states are considering similar legislation.