Effective October 1, 2016, it is now illegal to talk on a hand-held mobile device while driving through a construction zone. Once a driver crosses the orange cones, the speed limit drops substantially. Now, he or she also may not talk, text, navigate, or do anything else with a cell phone while driving. For a first offense, the fine is $40, with a second offense resulting in a fine of $100.00. However, you still can use hands-free devices while driving in work zones without fear of breaking the law.
Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have been notifying drivers of the new well in advance of its effective date. Electronic message boards also periodically will remind drivers of the change. Avoiding hand-held cell phone usage in work zones is particularly important due to the narrow, constantly shifting lanes and tightly condensed space containing many vehicles.
The new law is designed to prevent distracted driving, which Wisconsin State Police say cause the majority of accidents. The sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Frederick Kessler (D-Milwaukee), introduced it as a result of the many accidents directly related to texting and driving or talking and driving. The goal is to avoid the dangers of distracted driving not only for the driver, but also for other drivers and passengers on the road, and workers in construction zones.
If you or a loved one suffers serious or fatal injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the party or parties who are responsible for the accident that led to those injuries. In order to develop your claim for damages, we must determine which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted in a negligent or reckless manner, or otherwise acted in a manner that caused death or injury to your loved one, which can include distracted driving, such as using a cell phone while driving. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with this inquiry and carefully guide you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have against various responsible parties.