Green Bay alderman proposes ban on cell phones while driving

GREEN BAY – Put down your cellphone while driving, or face a fine. That’s the push a Green Bay alderman is making, when it comes to the city’s roads.

Alderman Jerry Wiezbiskie says he’s almost been hit several times by someone talking on their cell phone while driving. He says that includes his trip to City Hall Monday night.

“Actually came to a rolling stop as I went by them and almost hit me broadside,” said Wiezbiskie. “I saw them on the cell phone and thought there is an example right now.”

Wiezbiskie had city staff draft an ordinance banning handheld use of electronic devices while driving. Under the ordinance, if you’re caught using something like a cell phone, you’d be fined $50.

“It’s almost like a person who is intoxicated driving vehicle,” said Wiezbiskie.

The four aldermen on the city’s protection and welfare committee believe the issue should be taken up on a state level.

“I think it’s similar to the smoking ban where you ok this city by city, village by village, town, you’ll have people driving not knowing if cell phone use is banned while driving,” said Alderman Chris Wery.

Wausau passed a similar ordinance earlier this year. Signs were put up coming into the city letting drivers know of the ban.

Green Bay’s city council will vote on the issue. However, the protection and welfare committee voted to recommend denying a ban.

“Maybe the next move, I’ll have to discuss it with law staff, is a resolution to the state recommending they adopt it in the state, make that a part of inattentive driving,” said Wiezbiskie.

“I would be fine with that,” said Wery. “I think it should be handled at the state level. Whether or not it should be approved is another item, but I think it’s a state issue.”

The city council is expected to vote on the ordinance in three weeks.

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