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Bill Aims to Strengthen Penalties for "Texting and Driving"

A group of Republican Wisconsin legislators wants to increase the penalty for distracted driving from a $20 ticket to a $100 dollar ticket.

The bill was introduced Thursday by State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), State Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), and State Representative Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls).

The bill would clarify that driving and doing things like texting, emailing, using social media apps, and writing a memo would be illegal.

Wanggaard said, "You know, when you put that key in the ignition, when you make that choice, that just means that you have the ability to exercise the power of life and death over everybody you pass. Period."

The bill also makes it clear that if someone kills another person while using a mobile device, it would be homicide by negligent use of a vehicle, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Wanggaard expects strong bi-partisan support for the bill.

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