Legislator pushing to make hand-held cell phones illegal while driving

We're all guilty of it one time or another, but now a state lawmaker wants to ban people from talking on cell phones while in the car.

Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) is working to stop people from using a hand-held cell phone while driving, talking on the phone hands-free would still be legal.

There are 14 other states which have hand-held cell phone bans similar to the one Barca wants for Wisconsin.

A 2013 study from AAA shows talking on the cell phone, whether it's hand-held or hands free, are nearly similar types of distractions. The traffic safety group summed it up as "hands free does not mean risk free."

Milwaukee drivers we talked to want to see something done to cut back on distracted driving.

"You see people on 94 in the interchange not going the speed limit because they're on the phone. Typically if they're on the phone, they're also looking around doing other stuff, doing multiple things and that just compounds the bad driving habits." said Steven DeVougas.

The bill calls for tickets ranging from $20-$400 if people are caught talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Barca said, "The idea here is not to issue more citations, the idea is to change the culture in the way people drive and to be more cognizant of how they can be safe."

Barca is trying to find support for the bill from other legislators. If it does become law, it would not go into effect for a year in order to give people time to adjust.

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