Wausau Stepping up Enforcement on Cell Phone Ban

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When Wausau's cell phone ban initially went into effect in February, City Police were more lenient on drivers. But now they say that leniency period is over.

"Since the beginning of June, we've asked our officers to start increasing the amount of citations that were issued while enforcing the ban," Wausau Police Lieutenant Nathan Pekarske said. "That's something we're slowly working towards as we continue to educate the community and get the information out."

Police say they've issued 20 warnings and 10 citations since June 1st. The city has signs along some streets alerting drivers of its cell phone ordinance. And they've even made some of those signs larger.
"We received feedback from a number of council members and a number of residents that said, 'Where are these signs? I can't see them.' So we're in the process right now of actually increasing the size of the signs quite significantly to make them a little more visible."

Changes that some drivers are happy to see.

"I'm really in favor of it," Audrey Miller said. "There are too many distractions as it is. And it irritates me when I see people texting while they're driving."

"I think it's just important that they pay more attention to their driving, because I've seen more people nearly have accidents because they're distracted by their phone," Sharon Schmidt said.

The City hopes that with bigger signs and tougher police enforcement, drivers will be aware to put down their phone while behind the wheel. For both their safety, and the safety of others on the road.


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