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Foreign Policy Analysis
State rep disappointed in weak enforcement of texting, driving law as crashes increase

State rep disappointed in weak enforcement of texting, driving law as crashes increase


GHT ABOUT THAT LAW AND HOW IT’S BEING ENFORCED REPORTER: DRIVE THROUGH ANY WORK ZONE AND CHANCES ARE YOU’LL SEE SOMEONE BREAKING THE LAW BY HOLDING A PHONE WHILE DRIVING.>>YES, I DO. I SEE IT ON THE INTERSTATE ALL THE TIME. REPORTER: IT MAD NEWS WHEN THAT PRACTICE WAS BANNED IN WISCONSIN LAST OCTOBER. BUT SIX MONTHS AFTER THAT BAN WENT INTO EFFECT, OUR 12 NEWS CAMERAS CAUGHT DRIVERS BREAKING THAT LAW AGAIN AND AGAIN FROM WISCONSIN’S BUSIEST HIGHWAYS TO WORK ZONES ON CITY STREET YOU KNOW THAT’S AGAINST THE LAW RIGHT?>>YEAH. REPORTER: BUT YOU WERE DOING IT.>>WELL ACTUALLY BECAUSE I WAS TALKING TO THE DENTIST. REPORTER: TIME AND AGAIN, DRIVERS IGNORING THAT LAW. WE EVEN FOUND IT HAPPENING HERE, DRIVERS HOLDING THEIR PHONES IN THIS CONSTRUCTION ZONE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STATE CAPITOL WHERE THE LAW WAS PASSED. >>ALL IT TAKES IS A SECOND AND YOU TAKE OUT, WHAT, SIX GUYS? REPORTER: MEREDITH CAMPBELL IS MARRIED TO A ROAD CREW WORKER AND WORRIES ABOUT DRIVERS ON THE>>YEAH, IT’S SCARY. REPORTER THEY PASSED A LAW.>>THEY DID, BUT HOW DO THEY ENFORCE IT? REPORTER: WELL, 12 NEWS INVESTIGATED AND FOUND THAT IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS THE LAW HAS BEEN ON THE BOOKS THERE HAVE BEEN ONLY A HANDFUL OF CITATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE HAS ISSUED ONLY TWO TICKET THE SAME IS TRUE FOR THE KENOSHA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, WHILE BOTH RACINE AND WAUKESHA COUNTIES HAVE NONE. WASHINGTON COUNTY DEPUTIES HAVE WRITTEN JUST ONE TICKET FOR A PHONE IN A WORK ZONE IT CAME ON THE DAY AFTER THE LAW TOOK EFFECT. AND THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL HAS ISSUED JUST 7 ACROSS THE ENTIRE STATE.>>THAT WOULD DISAPPOINT ME TO HEAR THAT. NOT ONLY SURPRISE, BUT ALSO DISAPPOINT ME. REPORTER: STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOD OHNSTADT, OF KENOSHA, CO-AUTHORED THE LAW.>>THERE REALLY DOESN’T SEEM TO BE A LOT OF IMPACT FROM THIS. WELL THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP TO ME. AND I WILL CERTAINLY MAKE IT KNOWN THAT WE PASSED THE LAW FOR A GOOD REASON, AND WE HOPE THAT IT’S ENFORCED VIGOROUSLY. REPORTER: WE ASKED THE STATE PATROL WHY THERE HAVE BEEN SO FEW CITATIONS, AND ONE REASON THEY SAY, IS THAT IT’S TOUGH TO MONITOR, ESPECIALLY ON INTERSTATE WORK ZONES.>>WE CAN’T NECESSARILY AND STOP AND SIT THERE AND LOOK FOR PEOPLE DOING THIS. IT’S GOT TO BE IN A WORK ZONE. THER HAS TO BE WORKERS PRESENT WE AS AN OFFICER HAVE TO OBSERVE A DRIVER PLAYING AROUND WITH THEIR PHONE OR DEVICE, SO IT MAKES IT A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE. REPORTER: THAT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN DRIVERS ARE GETTING AWAY WITH BREAKING THE LAW. INSTEAD, MANY ARE BEING TICKETED FOR OTHER VIOLATIONS LIKE DISTRACTED OR INATTENTIVE DRIVING. THOSE CITATIONS ARE ON THE RIS BUT SO ARE ACCIDENTS IN WORK ZONES CAUSED BY INATTENTIVE DRIVING. STILL, MANY DRIVERS CONTINUE TO HOLD THE PHONE AND BREAK THAT LAW, AND SOME WONDER WHETHER THEY’VE FORGOTTEN THAT IT’S THE LAW AT ALL.>>IF THEY DON’T SEE PEOPLE GETTING PULLED OVER OR TICKETED FOR IT, IT’S PROBABLY OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND, HONESTLY. REPORTER: THE DANGER ON THE ROADS APPEARS TO BE INCREASING. STATE PATROL DATS SAYS ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DISTRACTED DRIVING IN WORK ZONES WERE UP 19% LAST YEAR OVER THE PREVIOUS YEAR WITH 23% INCREASE IN INJURIES AND DEATHS. STATE REP. OHNSTAD SAYS HE PLANS TO REACH OUT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE

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