New law: Wisconsin drivers can now be fined for using cell phone in construction zones

MADISON — Wisconsin is gradually taking steps to regulate cellphone use while driving, but an all-out ban is still a year or more away in the Legislature.

Legislators approved a bill this month imposing a $20 to $40 fine for drivers talking on handheld cellphones in construction zones, with the fine upping to $50 to $100 for subsequent offenses within a year.

The Republican-controlled Legislature meanwhile ignored a Democratic proposal for a broader ban on the practice, leaving it to die as the session wrapped up.

Marshfield Republican Rep. John Spiros, a lead sponsor on the construction zone bill, believes the state will eventually join the 14 other states that prohibit using handheld cellphones while driving.