(2/26/14) Rhinelander could be the next Wisconsin city to ban hand-held cell phones while driving.
A committee will spend the next month considering the idea, after Wausau passed a similar ban earlier this month. Alderman George Sauer, who proposed the ban, said he saw a dozen drivers chatting on cell-phones while going from his house to City Hall for last night's meeting. Police Chief Michael Steffes says inattentive driving laws now cover the distracted chatters -- but a more specific cell ban would be another tool to stop dangerous situations. Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns says he's not wild about having local police do the work, while the state grabs up most of the revenue from the fines. He wanted to know how much Madison's cut would be. Johns also said he'd rather see a statewide ban cell ban by drivers, but it doesn't look like it will happen this year. Seven minority Democrats and one Republican have signed onto a bill introduced in the Assembly earlier this month. It's sitting in a committee with just over a month to go in the current legislative session.