ST. PAUL, MN– The Minnesota House has approved a bill that would require motorists to use hands-free devices when talking on the phone.
Sponsors say the measure will cut down on the rising level of distracted driving and save lives.
The House passed the bill 106-21 with bipartisan support Monday night.
A similar bill is working its way through the Senate with an exemption for GPS navigation systems.
Minnesota is the 17th state to adopt a hands-free driving bill.
ST. PAUL, MN. (KTTC) – A major bill regarding distracted driving is heading to the Minnesota House floor for a vote Monday.
Texting while driving is already illegal in the state, but the “hands-free cellphone bill” would take it a step further. If passed, the bill would make it illegal to use or even hold a cellphone while driving.
“The idea the two of us have is to simply get people to take their eyes off their cellphone and back on the road,” said Republican State Senator Scott Newman during a January press conference at the state capitol.
However, voice activated calls or functions that require one-touch activation, like navigation or playing music, would still be legal.
Only 16 states plus the District of Columbia have a bill like this in place.
The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety reports distracted driving causes an average of 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries each year.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed everyday and more than 1,000 others are hurt in crashes involving a distracted driver.
We will have more on the story tonight on the KBJR News at 6.