Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
From the Governors Highway Safety Association:
- 5 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington), the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have enacted jurisdiction-wide cell phone laws prohibiting driving while talking on handheld cell phones. Many other states ban cell phone use in specific situations.
- 17 states and the District of Columbia have special cell phone driving laws for novice drivers.
- School bus drivers in 14 states and the District of Columbia are prohibited from all cell phone use when passengers are present, except for in emergencies.
- In May of 2007, Washington became the first state to ban driving while texting for all drivers. New Jersey followed suit in November and a few other states are considering similar measures.
- No state completely bans all types of cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) while driving.
A New York Times article reports, “auto companies, likening their latest models to living rooms on the road, are turning cars into cocoons of communication systems and high-tech entertainment.”
Looking through that NY Times article, here are all the automobile extras and activities while driving that could be construed as, “distracting”:
- G.P.S. navigation screens
- Portable DVD players
- Computer keyboards
- Computer printers
- Televisions mounted on dashboards
- Sophisticated guidance systems that alert drivers to the nearest Starbucks and cheapest gas stations
- Stereo systems that connect to portable MP3 players
- In-dash computer and Internet access
- A “dashboard of the future” that replaces traditional controls and gauges with touch-screen video displays
- DVD screens for passengers in rear seats
- Video games
- Audio systems
- Eating a sandwich
- Arguing with a spouse
- Applying makeup
- Studying a map
Using the argument of those who suggest that cell phones are deadly distractions, then the next logical step is that we should certainly ban each and every one of the above-mentioned innovations, plus eating, combing your hair, paging through newspapers, talking to the person next to you or anyone in the back seat, shaving, applying lipstick, brushing your teeth, etc.
Here’s the entire NY Times article.
The current Wisconsin legislative session ends in mid-March. It appears no bill restricting the use of cell phones while driving will be approved.
If that’s the case, Wisconsin will continue to have ZERO statutes banning the use of phones or any other distractions while driving.
That’s as it should be.