June 8, 2009

Lehman wants teen drivers off their cell phones

State Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, proposes to take a baby-step forward, adding his support to a bill that would ban cell phone use by "minors driving with a probationary license or instructional permit." First offense carries a $20 - $40 fine.

HELLO? Could this be any less effective? What about all the distracted adults who drive while talking on cell phones? How dangerous are they?

We've sent a query to Lehman, asking him why the bill doesn't go further -- banning all cell phone use by anyone driving any moving vehicle would make sense to us -- and will print his response as soon as we hear from him. In the meantime, here's his press release:
Madison – Senator John Lehman (D-Racine) joined Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) in introducing legislation to restrict cellular phone use by minors who are driving with a probationary license or instructional permit.

“Drivers under the age of 20 account for 7% of the driving population but are involved in 14% of fatal accidents,” Lehman said. “There are enough distractions for inexperienced teen drivers without having phone conversations behind the wheel.”

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of an accident quadruples during a cell phone call. Another study, conducted by the University of Utah, concludes that driving while talking on a cell phone can be as bad as driving drunk.

The legislation (LRB-0978/2) would provide an exemption for emergency calls and would impose a $20 to $40 fine for the first offense. The bill is currently being circulated for cosponsorship.


  1. Make a statement Lehman you idiot...Ban ALL cell phone use while driving...Damnit these political fools are really really getting more annoying each day! We must rid ourselves of these so called leaders!

  2. Why do we need yet another law? There's already a law prohibiting inattentive driving. If we're concerned, let's start enforcing it! That'd be much better than targetting new laws to specific demographics just to get some politician a couple of inches in a newspaper (or reasonable facsimile thereof).

  3. Gee, I'd sure love to see an article about all the tax increases Lehman voted for as a member of the Joint Finance Committee.

  4. This at least shows that at least John knows how to create a bill outside hiding items in the budget process. The problem with the current budget process is too many bad ideas are being hidden in the budget that are unfunding mandates or creating new unfunded mandates. People are allowing themselves to be distracted by the minor budget issues and missing the items that will cost families hundreds of dollars more a year. The direct and indirect costs of the budget will create a lot of pain for families on the edge financially already.

    The Dane County, I mean Racine, rep Mason is trying to put an unfunded mandate on schools when he wants to require bussing pregnant student living under two miles from schools, which historically aren't bused. There has been a lot of effort done by RUSD to optimize bussing routes and then with one hidden budget item will add bussing costs.

    I hope people wake up soon and look at all the new fees in the budget proposal and quit worrying about some unmowed grass along some highways. Consider the long grass the least costly green project coming out of Madison or Washington. The unmowed grass is the least of our worries in Wisconsin. A quick look at the new fees indicates the average Wisconsin household will pay over $1000 more a year in new taxes and fees.

    I hope the Racine Post does an eyes open analysis of the coming budget pain so people have time to get to their reps before they vote for this mess.

  5. Lehman needs to go. Not because he is a democrat, becuase he is a fool who hasnt done anything to benefit Racine ever just like McReynolds. Two of the worst possible candidates for state senate ever.

  6. John Lehman is a poor excuse for a man. He likes to kiss ass and has done NOTHING since be elected. He was even a TERRRIBLE teacher.

  7. I'm sure that banning cell phone use for all drivers offends the wireless companies or some other special interest group or another, just like actually doing something about drunk drivers offends theTavern League.

    Party on!

  8. This is just noise to cover the really bad stuff in the budget. This budget, like the federal budget, is rewarding those who screw up.
    An example is the item in the state budget that would make the person with insurance pay for an accident even if they are only 1% at fault. The assembly may increase it to 20%. Either way, where is the concept of personal responsibility. The injured party shouldn't pay for damages just because they were dumb enough to buy the right amount of insurance.

    I hope this all is remembered next November when all these folks are running for re-election. They are hoping that we forget this budget quickly.