HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) – Minnesota just implemented it, and now the hands-free approach has spread across the border.
In Wisconsin, a distracted driver crashes every 22 minutes. So earlier this week, the town of Hudson enacted its own hands-free cellphone law. In just a few days, that decision has sparked a statewide movement.
Hudson is a gateway to Wisconsin. Home to the St. Croix, it was also home to young mother Megan Goeltz, who was killed near Stillwater by a distracted driver.
“She’s talking through us, and she’d be so proud that we are doing this because at least we can work to make something of her death and the horrific part of it,” said Wendy Goeltz, Megan’s mother.
And they’ve been working hard – changing the law in Minnesota, and as of this week, the Goeltz family helped make Hudson hands-free, too, sparking a statewide conversation.
“People around the state have been emailing me and on Facebook about how we can do it in our community – Menomonie, Eau Claire, all over the place – so it’s pretty exciting,” said Tom Goeltz, Megan’s father.
The police chief supports the quickly-instated city ordinance.
“People are sick and tired of people getting injured in crashes because people aren’t paying attention while they are driving, so I think the community expects it, and it’s time we follow suit,” Chief Geoff Willems said.
But enforcing it is a bit tricky since the vote to go hands-free in Hudson happened quickly. Hudson police will be giving warnings mostly for the first few months. In the meantime, a brokenhearted and strong-willed family will fight for a statewide law.
“Michigan’s working on it, Iowa is working on it, so Wisconsin needs to get in gear and get going,” Tom Goeltz said.