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What restrictions do Minnesota and Wisconsin impose on the use of electronic devices while driving?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving vary considerably by state. For example, 16 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories prohibit all hand-held phone use by drivers.

Neither Minnesota nor Wisconsin is one of those 16 states. But both Minnesota and Wisconsin do have various restrictions on using electronic devices in the car. In this post, we will inform you about some of the most important.

Minnesota’s cell-phone restrictions

Minnesota’s restrictions on cell-phone use while driving include:

•· Ban on use of cell phone while driving by school bus drivers. Minnesota is one of 20 states with this ban.

•· Ban on texting while driving. Minnesota is one of 47 states that do this and one of 43 states that allow for primary enforcement of the ban. Primary enforcement means that police can pull someone over for the violation even if no other driving violation has occurred.

•· Ban on cell-phone use while driving by drivers under 18. Minnesota is one of 38 states that restrict novice drivers in this way, with primary enforcement.

The Minnesota legislature is considering a ban on hand-held cell phones while driving to these existing restrictions. The legislature is also looking at increasing fines for violating the current ban on texting while driving and at allowing police to confiscate the phones of repeat violators.

Wisconsin’s cell-phone restrictions

Wisconsin has most of the same restrictions on cell-phone use while driving as Minnesota. This includes a ban on cell-phone use by drivers with a learner or intermediate license, with primary enforcement for violations, and a ban on texting while driving with primary enforcement.

Wisconsin does not, however, ban cell-phone use by school bus drivers when behind the wheel.

The fine for violating in Wisconsin for texting while driving is only $20 for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, however, the fines are higher, up to a maximum of $400. Wisconsin also imposes a $40 fine for using a handheld cell phone in a construction zone, with the penalty amount rising to $100 for a subsequent offense.