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GHSA News Release

May 5, 2010

Contact: Kara Macek
(202)789-0942, ext.14

Wisconsin Makes 25: Half of States Now Ban Texting While Driving

States quickly addressing dangerous practice of texting while driving

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) congratulates Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, the State Legislature and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as that state becomes the 25th to ban texting by all drivers.

The new Wisconsin law takes effect in December. The law is primary enforcement - meaning law enforcement officers can ticket a driver solely on the basis of texting while driving. Of the 25 states with texting bans, 20 are primary enforcement. In the other five, a driver must be pulled over for another offense before he can be cited for texting while driving.

Washington State was the first state to enact a texting ban in May of 2007. GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha notes, "In less than three years, half of the states have quickly acted to enact texting bans. We anticipate another 10-15 states to act within the next year. Regardless of the law, the safest practice is to put your phone away and focus on driving."

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For a full list of state laws regulating texting and cell phone use while driving, visit:

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit