2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
October 31, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Spiros, Emerson, Tusler,
Bowen, Anderson, Considine, Dittrich, Mursau, Ohnstad, Petryk,
Rohrkaste, Sargent, Sinicki, Skowronski, Subeck and Zimmerman,
cosponsored by Senators Wanggaard, Carpenter, Ringhand, Risser,
Schachtner and Smith. Referred to Committee on State Affairs.
1An Act to repeal
346.89 (4) (a);
to renumber and amend
346.89 (4) (b) and 2
346.89 (4m); to amend
343.315 (2) (f) 10. and 346.95 (1); and to create
(4m) (a), 346.89 (4m) (c) 1. b., 346.89 (4m) (c) 2., 346.89 (4m) (c) 3. and 346.95 4
(2g) of the statutes; relating to: the use of a wireless communication device
5while driving and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill prohibits any person from using a wireless communication device
(device) while driving, except for certain hands-free use, use by law enforcement
officials, or use related to an emergency.
Current law prohibits inattentive driving of a motor vehicle, which means that
a driver of a motor vehicle may not be engaged or occupied with an activity, other than
driving the vehicle, that interferes with the safe driving of the vehicle. Persons who
violate this prohibition may be required to forfeit not less than $20 nor more than
$400. Also under current law, a person driving under an instruction permit or a
probationary license is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a cellular
phone, except to report an emergency. Also, a person is prohibited from driving a
motor vehicle while using a cellular phone in a highway construction zone, except to
report an emergency. Persons who violate either of these prohibitions may be
required to forfeit not less than $20 nor more than $40 for a first offense, and not less
than $50 nor more than $100 for a second or subsequent offense within one year.
This bill prohibits any person from using a device while driving. Exceptions are
provided for the use of a device by law enforcement officers or to report an emergency
and for certain hands-free use of a device by persons who hold a license other than
a probationary license or an instruction permit. Persons who violate this prohibition
may be required to forfeit not more than $50 for a first offense, not more than $100
for a second offense, and not more than $150 for a third or subsequent offense.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
343.315 (2) (f) 10. of the statutes is amended to read:
(f) 10. In this subdivision, “mobile telephone" has the meaning 3
given in 49 CFR 390.5
. Violating s. 346.89 (4) (b)
or a local ordinance in 4
conformity therewith or a law of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or 5
band in this state in conformity with s. 346.89 (4) (b) (4g)
or the law of another 6
jurisdiction prohibiting driving a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR
, while using a hand-held mobile telephone, as those or substantially similar 8
terms are used in that jurisdiction's law.
346.89 (4) (a) of the statutes is repealed.
346.89 (4) (b) of the statutes is renumbered 346.89 (4g), and 346.89 11
(4g) (a) (intro.), as renumbered, is amended to read:
(a) (intro.) In this paragraph subsection
346.89 (4m) of the statutes is renumbered 346.89 (4m) (b) and 14
amended to read:
(b) No person may drive, as defined in s. 343.305 (1) (b), any motor
16vehicle while using use
a cellular or other
wireless telephone communication device
including using the telephone device
for a purpose other than communication, where
18persons engaged in work in a highway maintenance or construction area or in a
19utility work area are at risk from traffic, except to report an emergency while driving
This subsection does not apply to
use of a voice-operated
2or hands-free wireless communication
device if the all of the following apply:
driver of the motor vehicle does not use
any part of
his or her hands body 4
to operate the device, except to activate or deactivate a feature the device
or a 5
function or software application
of the device.
346.89 (4m) (a) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this subsection:
1. “Drive” has the meaning given in s. 343.305 (1) (b).
2. “Hands-free use" means the use of an attachment, accessory, wirelessly 10
paired or tethered capability, application, wireless connection, or built-in feature of 11
a wireless communication device or a motor vehicle that allows the person to use 12
verbal or single-touch commands to activate or deactivate the device or to activate 13
or deactivate a function or software application of the device. Hands-free use does 14
not include typing or scrolling on a device.
346.89 (4m) (c) 1. b. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 1. b. The driver holds an operator's license other than a 17
probationary license issued under s. 343.085, or an instruction permit issued under 18
346.89 (4m) (c) 2. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 2. This subsection does not apply to the use of a wireless 21
communication device by a law enforcement officer.
346.89 (4m) (c) 3. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 3. This subsection does not apply to the use of a wireless 24
communication device to report an emergency.
346.95 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
Except as provided in sub. (13), any person violating s. 346.87, 2
346.88, 346.89 (4), (4m), (4g)
or (5), 346.90 to 346.92, or 346.94 (1), (9), (10), (11), (12), 3
or (15) may be required to forfeit not less than $20 nor more than $40 for the first 4
offense and not less than $50 nor more than $100 for the 2nd or subsequent 5
conviction within a year.
346.95 (2g) of the statutes is created to read:
Any person violating s. 346.89 (4m) may be required to forfeit not 8
more than $50 for the first offense, not more than $100 for the 2nd offense, and not 9
more than $150 for the 3rd or subsequent conviction.
(1) This act first applies to violations committed on the effective date of this 12
subsection but does not preclude the counting of offenses as prior offenses for the 13
purposes of sentencing.