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Governor Walz and police speak on “Hands-Free” Law

DULUTH,MN– Local law enforcement spent the day cracking down on the new “Hands-Free Law” making sure drivers put down their cell phones while behind the wheel.

Lieutenant Chuck O’Connor who’s crew was out patrolling the roads today said, “My personal experience was it took two hours before I witnessed the first hands-free violation. So surprising to me but pleasantly surprising.”

O’Connor said his crew made seven traffic stops relating to “Hands-Free” laws.

They gave drivers verbal warnings, but know that won’t be the case next time.

“They were each told that their name and plate are put on the computer. Which if they stopped again for the same offense that next officer is going to see they were already given a verbal warning” says O’Connor.

In Duluth Thursday, Governor Tim Walz said he hopes the success other states have had will be the same here in Minnesota.

Walz said in a press conference, “The other 15 states that have done this have seen a 15% reduction in fatalities. If we follow that trend 30 folks are going to arrive their families at the end of the day.”

Authorities say the law will help them keep the roads safer.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said the new law is “To make our job easier, to make sure we get people home safe.”

Captain Chip Lemon from the Minnesota State Patrol said it was one of the best laws that have been passed in his career said, “that has been long overdue.”

A law they hope will be a learning experience, rather than a punishment.

Emma Quinn

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