A Breakdown of the Cell Phone Driving Ban in Wausau

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UPDATE: Mon 11:27 PM, Feb. 17, 2014

A lieutenant with the Wausau Police Department says the department has yet to issue a citation regarding Wausau's new cell phone ban. The ban means drivers must use hands free devices while driving.

The ban went into effect Saturday.

Lt. Pekarske told NewsChannel 7 the squad car computers are still being updated with the new ordinance.

As of yet no signage is in place, but it is just a matter of time.

Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids already have behind the wheel cellphone bans for driver.

Texting while driving is illegal in Wisconsin.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Wed. 5:26 PM, Feb. 12, 2014

The ordinance states that operating a vehicle on any street or highway in Wausau while using a hand-help mobile telephone or a mobile electronic device is not allowed.

Than means you can not physically hold your phone up to your ear while driving. You can still use your phone with any sort of hands free device, or you can set it down and put the call on speaker phone.

Drivers may still use a GPS app or service on your phone, but only if directions are activated before you start your commute. Mayor Jim Tipple hopes this ordinance will soon become a statewide law.

"I think the state will move toward it, sometimes states over-regulate, but I think that'll be coming because it makes sense," Mayor Jim Tipple said, "a lot of other states have already stepped up to the plate, and made that change, and hopefully the state will take a look at it too."

He said there will be signs posted at the Wausau city limits reminding drivers about the ordinance.

There are some specific exceptions to this law. Emergency crews can use their phones since their calls involve emergencies and often times life threatening situations.

The fine for talking on your cell phone while driving in Wausau is $40. The ordinance will be put into effect in about a week.


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