New bill could soon make Wisconsin hands free

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Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 --- 6:07 p.m.

Drivers on their cell phones- you've definitely seen them, and you might even be one of them. But soon, it could be against the law.

If one bill passes, it's hands free if you want to talk.

Keep your hands on the wheel, not on the phone. That's the basis for a new bill proposed. So we sat down with a driving instructor to let us know just how much the ban could help.

Spending her days on the roads, driving instructor Judy Hudson has seen it all.

"I don't know how many close calls we've had in the training cars all the time by people on their cell phone."

Eyes like hawk, she can spot a cell phone user anywhere.

"You can bet that's a cell phone, that person's on a cell phone."

Be it dialing up, or just hitting talk, she says a lot can happen when your eyes are down.

"And I tell them, you take your eyes off the road going 30-35 miles an hour for a couple seconds you've just gone a football field."

That's the reasoning why Representative Barca says he introduced the legislation.

"With today's technology, we should be using technology to make us safer and that's the idea behind the bill," says Barca.

But will the law really work? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, claims for crash damage before and after hand held phone use bans went into effect had no significant change. Barca says its about changing the culture.

Just like seat belt laws Barca says it might not have an immediate effect, but something that will be instilled in every new driver's mind.

"The whole idea of this bill is not to go out and issue a lot of tickets, it's to really change the habits of people," says Barca.

With two hands on the wheel Hudson says you're always safer, a drivers reaction time, instinct, and tendency to overturn, all change dramatically when they're driving with just one hand.

Representative Barca also authored the texting and driving bill that's now law. He says that one was a battle to get through the legislature, he doesn't expect this one to be easy either but he says it's in the best interest of the state of Wisconsin.


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