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New hands-free law goes into effect August 1

In an effort to make roads safer for all by preventing distracted driving crashes, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the new hands-free bill on April 12, 2019. 

What’s allowed under the new law?

Minnesota’s new hands-free law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions—but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. 

What’s not allowed?

Drivers may not hold their phones in their hand or use their phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, social media, gaming, looking at videos or photos, using non-navigation apps, reading texts, scrolling or typing on the phone. 

What are the penalties?

The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees. 

Can I ever hold my phone?

Yes. Handheld phone use is allowed to obtain emergency assistance, if there is a threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle performing official duties. 

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