In March 2012, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed a bill banning the use of cell phones while driving for all drivers under the age of 18. Previous laws banned texting while driving, but this law goes a step further in the right direction. Concerned parents are pleased by the passage of this bill, and many say it couldn't come too soon as it is becoming more and more clear that using a cell phone while driving is very dangerous.
Kanoff conviction and cell phone bans
Last month, 21-year-old Stephanie Kanoff was found guilty of homicide by negligent driving after a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of a University of Wisconsin-Madison student. It was found that she had been using her cell phone at the time, which likely led to the conviction. She will receive her sentence in two months.
This case has seen a lot of media coverage in the Wisconsin area as the cell phone ban for teens goes into effect. Parents hold up the example of Kanoff, not too far from a teenager herself, as a cautionary tale for their children to remind them not to break the law.
What the new law means for you
The cell phone ban is relatively minor as far as penalties are concerned, with $20 – 40 for a first offense and $50 – 100 for the second, but many analysts predict it will be rigorously enforced. Cell phones or other mobile handsets cannot be in the driver's hands while the vehicle is operating. However, this law indicates another step in Wisconsin's safe-driving policy, which could have more dire consequences for law enforcement and court conviction as seen in the case of Stephanie Kanoff.
Contact Samster, Konkel and Safran if you have a case or a concern involving a vehicular accident or homicide by vehicular negligence. We are well-versed in all the latest legal details and precedents involving cell phones and driving. We can help you get the verdict or settlement you deserve.