For Immediate Release: 

 
WAJ Applauds Legislators for Introducing Bill to Combat Distracted Driving
WAJ President Benjamin S. Wagner joins bipartisan group led by Reps. Tusler and Sen. Wanggaard.
 
Watch the press conference: Facebook Live Link on Rep Tusler's page.
 
June 22, 2017 (Madison) The Wisconsin Association for Justice applauds Representatives Ron Tusler 
(R­Appleton), Shannon Zimmerman (R­River Falls), and Dana Wachs (D­Eau Claire); as well as Senator 
Van Wanggaard (R­Racine) for introducing legislation aimed at combating distracted driving by 
smartphone or other electronic media use.
 
Today, the legislators held a Press Conference in the Assembly Parlor to introduce and build support 
for a bill which would make needed improvements to Wisconsin's distracted driving laws. WAJ 
President, Milwaukee Attorney Benjamin S. Wagner, spoke in favor of the bill.
 
Wagner said, "I applaud this bipartisan group of legislators led by Rep. Ron Tusler and Sen. Van 
Wanggaard for offering a clear message that we must do everything we can
to crack down on people using their smartphones when they should have their hands on the wheel and 
their eyes on the road."
 
Wisconsin's original text messaging ban needs an update. The original bill commanded overwhelming, 
bipartisan support, passing the Assembly 89-­6 and the Senate 30­-3 when it was enacted in 2010. WAJ shares the legislators' optimism that this bill can and should draw bipartisan support this session.
 
The legislation does three major things which should make Wisconsin drivers think
twice before texting and driving. First, it updates Wisconsin law to reflect the capability of 
modern smart phones by outlawing the use of the phone to, among other things, access the internet 
and phone­based applications while driving. Second, it increases the minimum financial penalty for a violation from a mere $20 to $100. Lastly, it makes it clear that a person who violates this law and causes the death of another may face prosecution for negligent use of a motor vehicle under Wis. Stat. § 940.10.
 
"As an attorney who represents car crash victims, I see the harm that distracted driving causes 
every day. Not a day goes by where I am not shocked to see a fellow driver's attention focused on 
their smartphone rather than the road ahead," said Benjamin S. Wagner, President of the Wisconsin 
Association for Justice, "Too often, this type of distraction leads to tragedy."
 
Wagner concluded, "We are grateful for the privilege of sharing the stage with this
bipartisan group as they begin building support for this bill. This is just the first step towards 
safer roads and highways for everybody in Wisconsin."

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