UPDATED Thursday, November 1, 2012 --- 7:00 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Young drivers, put away that cellphone.
As of Thursday, using it while driving is illegal.
The new law bars anyone operating a motor vehicle under an instruction permit or a probationary license from using a cellphone or other wireless communications device except to report an emergency.
First-time violators would face penalties ranging from $20 to $40.
Wisconsin State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable says the hope is the new law will deter teenagers and other inexperienced drivers from talking on their phones while driving, which can be a dangerous distraction.
The law primarily affects young drivers, but those on probationary licenses can be older and include people who were licensed in other countries.
State law already prohibits drivers of any age from texting while behind the wheel.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 --- 1:29 p.m.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- There's a new law in Wisconsin that prohibits new drivers from using cell phones.
The law goes into effect Thursday, with fines of $20 to $40 for a first offense and $50 to $100 for a subsequent offense within a year.
According to The Reporter, the law applies to drivers with an instruction permit or probationary license. It also applies to new state residents with fewer than three years of experience and new residents under the age of 21.
Bryant Halverson, owner of New Direction Driving School in Lomira, says the law creates additional safety measures to help law enforcement stop irresponsible drivers.
As of September, the Governor's Highway Safety Association notes that 32 states and the District of Columbia ban cell phone use by novice drivers.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.