The Wisconsin state Senate has passed legislation which would ban texting behind the wheel. The legislation passed on a lopsided 27-to-5 vote. Opponents said texting is covered under the state’s existing distracted driving law, but supporters say the dangers of texting will be highlighted by a ban.
South Milwaukee Democrat Jeff Plale says the state’s existing inattentive driving law is adequate. “People are picked up every day all across the state for inattentive driving. Sometimes it’s with an eyeliner and sometimes it’s with a Blackberry,” said Plale. “It’s all inattentive driving.”
But Waunakee Democrat Jon Erpenbach, father of teenagers, thinks the anti-texting message needs to be reinforced, particularly to the under eighteen crowd. “They were born with cell phones in their hands,” said Erpenbach. “They were born texting, and it really is a generational thing. And I think what we’ve done here is really drawn it to their attention, that no, you really can’t do this.”
The bill from DePere Republican Alan Lasee – amended to include drivers of all ages – now heads to the Assembly.