Traffic Safety Laws in Wisconsin

Helmet Laws


  • All riders and passengers under 18 years old must don a helmet.
  • All riders, regardless of age, holding instructional permits must wear a helmet.


  • Though wearing a helmet is strongly encouraged, there currently is no law making bicycle helmets mandatory.



  • Headlights must be on during hours of darkness and when there is limited visibility.
  • High beams must be dimmed when within 500 ft of an approaching vehicle or within 500 ft of the vehicle ahead of you.


Must be used at all times, day and night.


Headlights must be used when dark and when riding on a highway right-of-way.

Electronic Devices and Texting

Unless it's an emergency, the following electronic device bans are in place:

  • Any type of cell phone or electronic device use is prohibited for drivers with probationary licenses or instruction permits.
  • All drivers are banned from using their handheld cell phone or electronic device in construction zones, highway maintenance or utility work except in the event of an emergency.
  • Texting and driving is prohibited for all drivers.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • Kids 4 years old or younger and weighing 40 lbs. or under, must ride in vehicles while safely secured in a federally consented child seat.
  • Kids under 8 years old must be seated in federally approved safety seats or boosters until they reach over 80 lbs in weight, or are taller than 4 ft 9 in. If size prevents a child from fitting properly in a seat or booster he or she must instead employ a seat belt.

Before buying a child card seat, be sure to read our article on Buying a Child Car Seat.

Reporting a Drunk or Dangerous Driver

If you suspect a driver of being a motorized menace, don't hesitate in dialing 911. Try to dispense as much information as possible, including the vehicle's license plate, color, make, location and direction.

Reporting a Child Left Unattended in a Vehicle

Dial 911 if you suspect that a child left unattended in a vehicle is in danger. Remain with the vehicle until authorities arrive.

Reporting an Unattended Pet Left in a Vehicle

Contact the local police if you suspect a pet left unattended in a vehicle is in danger due to excessive heat or cold.

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