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New Hands Free Driving Law in effect Thursday in Minnesota

DULUTH, MN- Starting August 1st drivers will have to be hands-free while behind the wheel in Minnesota.

Distracted driving is something most people experience on the roadway Andy Miller a Software Engineer says he experiences it a lot.

“On a daily basis especially on the interstate people looking down picking a song texting or whatever and those people are often drifting into the side of the road and the other lane,” Miller said.

Minnesota already has a no text while driving law, but the law was confusing for officers at times according to Ingrid Hornibrook the Public Information Officer for the Duluth Police Department.

“What it really does is clears up the ambiguity of the no texting and driving law to speak to the point of how would an officer know if a person is texting versus something else looking up music or a phone number,” she added.

The new law will only apply to your cell phone.

This means while it is discouraged it does not affect your eating and drinking habits while driving.

Additionally, a driver can put their phone in a hijab, or headscarf to hold it as long as their hands stay off the phone.

“Drivers still do need to use common sense. If something is proven to be a distraction set it aside and just focus on the road and traffic around you,” Hornibrook said.

The police department advises that if you want to use your phone connect it to your car’s Bluetooth, use an auxiliary cord, or a phone mount.

It is permitted to use your phone during an emergency.

If you do get a ticket for using your phone while driving the first time it will cost $50.

Every ticket after will be $275.

John Cardinale

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