Beginning December 1st, 2010 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin will have the authority to stop drivers suspected of texting while driving. The law prohibits a person from driving any motor vehicle while composing or sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message.
The law does not apply to any of the following:
1. The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle
2. The use of any device whose primary function is transmitting an receiving emergency alert messages and messages related to the operation of the vehicle or an accessory that is integrated into the electrical system of a vehicle, including a global positioning system device.
3. An amateur radio operator who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the Federal Communications Commission when he or she is using dedicated amateur radio 2-way radio communication equipment and observing proper amateur radio operating procedures.
4. The use of a voice-operated or hands-free device if the driver of the motor vehicle does not use his or her hands to operate the device, except to activate or deactivate a feature of function of the device.
For the month of December 2010 officers in Bayside will be issuing warnings to drivers found to be texting while driving. As of January 2011, a driver found to be texting while operating his vehicle may be issued a citation for $114.00 and 4 points. This offense is considered a primary one meaning, officers can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.