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New Drivers Could Lose Cell Phone Privileges Submitted: 03/14/2012
Rhinelander - It's a favorite toy, and a major distraction -cell phones- and soon they may be out of the hands of many teen drivers in Wisconsin.

A bill prohibiting new drivers from using cell phones, except in case of emergency, is ready for Governor Walker's signature.

Picture this, you're driving and your phone rings. Should you answer it? Most of us do. But what if you're a new driver. "They've got a lot to learn... That first month, after they get their regular license, if they're gonna crash, they have a really high percentage, like 50% chance of crashing that first month," says High School driving instructor, Kevin Kirby.

"We do see cell phone use causing accidents.... It is proven that the more experience you have, the more you're going to be able to deal with some of those other distractions that come in," says Rhinelander Police Chief Mike Steffes.

Walk down any busy street, and you're sure to see many distracted drivers. Are young drivers the most distracted? Surprisingly, they think so. This is what a handful of Rhinelander High School students had to say.

"If they have it by them and it goes of, yea pretty much their going to text," says Krysta Wisner.

"If you're using the speaker, your eyes are on the road, but you're not giving your full attention to the road," says Elliot O'Melia

"I never do... I'm not very good at multi-tasking," says Danyelle Leabitt

"They need to first be able to drive before they do any thing else," says Tyler Glinski.

But it's not just teen drivers who need to watch out.

"I've watched people applying make-up while driving, I've watched guys shaving... So you see a wide variety of people doing many different things- instead of focusing on their driving," says Chief Steffes.

Any of those activites could at least land you a ticket for inattentive driving. For adults, talking on the phone while driving is legal, as long as you're not distracted.

Texting and driving however could cost you nearly $200, plus 4 demerit points on your license.

Written By: Kailey Burton

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