Wood County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Shawn Becker says, “It is customary since the law passed that when we investigate a crash, we ask if a cell phone was in use.”
The Wisconsin law banning texting while driving became effective on December 1, 2010, but is difficult to prove a violation before an accident has occurred. Police officers need to see a person violating the law, but can’t really differentiate between someone who is dialing to talk, which is legal, and texting, which is not.
Some places, like Marshfield, have solved the problem by prohibiting the use of a cell phone altogether. More citations on cell phone use have been credited with fewer accidents due to drivers distracted while texting and reading messages.