Wisconsin: Hang up in road-work zones

highway construction sign

Wisconsin has outlawed use of handheld mobile phones in construction zones.

The law comes in response to a trio of highway workers’ deaths in 2015 and was requested by local county highway commissioners.

The law, which takes effect Sept. 1, comes with fines ranging from $40 to $100.

Wisconsin has a general texting & driving law, but does not prohibit use of cell phones by adult drivers. State Rep. Peter Barca tried to change that during the 2016 legislative session, but his handheld cell phone bill was ignored by the Republican-controlled Transportation Committee.

“They’re just not willing to entertain this,” the Democrat said.

The construction-zone act was signed into law March 30 by Gov. Scott Walker (as Act 380).

“It’s kind of an education bill,” said state Sen. Jerry Petrowski, who had the Senate version of the successful Assembly bill from Rep. John Spiros.

It was the third try for the Spiros-Petrowski plan. “The workers really are the most important people in that construction zone,” Spiros has said.

Fines range from $20 to $40 (first offense), then $50 to $100 (serial offenses).

Read about Wisconsin distracted driving laws.


  1. Al Cinamon says:

    No doubt another phony, money making law. When those workers were killed, were the motorists just holding the phone or actually talking on the phone? I bet they were talking on the phone, but, once again only holding phone is banned.

    When will the States be honest and ban both hand-held and hands free phones? According to every survey ever conducted, there is really no difference between the two.

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