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Park the phone: ‘No if, hands, or buts about it’

Texting driving
Public safety
Tina Petrson

DULUTH, MN -- A message to Minnesotans in an attempt to remind the state's drivers of the Hands-Free cellphone law.

Just over a year ago, the Hands-Free law went into effect in Minnesota.

Officials say drivers are slipping back to their old ways, violating the law, with an uptick in traffic violations.

Law enforcement has cited more than 19,000 drivers in Minnesota violating the law.

"Minnesotan's have more work to do," said Director for the Office of Traffic Safety, Mike Hanson.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety is coordinating an ongoing extra Hands-Free enforcement and awareness campaign from August 1 through August 8.

They are coordinating with more than 300 law agencies across the state to remind drivers to drive smart and stay safe on the roads.

"Just do not interact with that electronic device while you're driving," said Hanson.

State officials are urging drivers to stay safe and to make the decisions to drive smart and park the phone.

"I am disappointed to report that we need motorists to park their phone," said Tina Peterson, a professional truck driver.

"We are known for being Minnesota nice, I would love for us to also be known for Minnesota safe."

According to Traffic Safty programs manger, Lisa Kons, traffic crashes are the leading cause of workplace deaths. The National Safety Council says a quarter of those crashes involve cellphones.

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