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Municipal Code

Chapter 8. Traffic Code

Sec. 8-48. Use of Mobile Telephones Restricted

(1) Purpose.  The purpose of this Section is to establish regulations regarding the use of mobile telephones while operating a motor vehicle in the City of Marshfield.  It is the position of the City of Marshfield that the use of mobile telephones while operating a motor vehicle on the public roadways may cause the operator to maintain less than full time attention to the operation of said motor vehicle.  The City of Marshfield further believes that the regulation of the use of mobile telephones while operating a motor vehicle in the City of Marshfield will enhance the safety of those persons operating motor vehicles as well as other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and the general populace.

(2) Definitions.  Unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this Section shall be as follows:

(a) "Mobile Telephone" includes, but shall not be limited to, cellular, analog, wireless and digital telephones. Mobile Telephone shall not include HAM radios operated by licensed individuals with the "Amateur Radio Plate" and CB radios.

(b) "Use" means to use a Mobile Telephone in:

  1. Dialing
  2. Answering
  3. Talking
  4. Listening
  5. Texting or otherwise manipulating controls of a Mobile Telephone

(c) "Park Position" means (i) for an automatic transmission vehicle that the vehicle is in the Park gear or (ii) for a standard transmission vehicle that the vehicle is in the neutral gear and the brake is being utilized.

(3) Uses, Restrictions. 

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway while engaging in any conduct defined as the "Use" of a Mobile Telephone unless the operator maintains both hands on the applicable steering device.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this Section shall not apply to a person who is using the Mobile Telephone:

1. To contact public safety personnel; or

2. While maintaining the vehicle in the Park Position either on public or private property; or

3.  With a "hands-free device" which allows the operator to use both hands to operate the vehicle while using the Mobile Telephone.

(4) Exceptions.

(a) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to law enforcement personnel or operators of emergency vehicles when on duty and acting in their official capacities.

(b) The use of emergency 911 phone numbers shall not be prohibited for any person operating a motor vehicle in the City of Marshfield.

(5)  Procedure Upon Violation.  Anyone who shall violate the provisions of this Section, in addition to any other violation of the Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Code and to the extent that such violations occurred, shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not more than Seventy Five Dollars ($75.00).