Construction zone phone ban starts this weekend

New law goes into effect October 1
Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 06:54:50-04

Starting Saturday, it will be against the law for drivers to be on their cell phones while driving through a construction zone.

"If I look next to me, nine times out of ten in the immediate area someone is going to be on their phone," said Peter Sieloff.

It's a problem drivers like Sieloff are far too familiar with, but starting October 1 those on handheld devices will need to drop the call before they catch up to orange cones.

"Cell phones shouldn't be allowed on the highway whatsoever," said driver Kenetra Window.

“At first I was kind of put of by it, but as I thought about it I’ve seen more and more people get in accidents by people texting and talking,” added Sieloff. 

The Department of Transportation says the new law is an effort to reduce distracted driving in the most dangerous areas on the road. Wisconsin sees an average of 2,000 construction zone crashes each year.

"I've seen people who have come this close to construction workers on the road even this morning," said Window.

The DOT says those caught will be pulled over and issued a $40 fine for the first offense. If caught a second time, that spikes to $100.

"I can admit that I've been guilty, but I have small children so it can wait," Window said. "We all have families we want to make it home to or something that we look forward to at the end of the day."

Drivers will still be allowed to talk on the phone in construction zones while using Bluetooth or hands-free technology.