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Rules of the road: Hands free

The new hands-free law took effect in Minnesota on August 1. The law aims to make roads safer by preventing distracted driving crashes. So, what do you need to know?

 What’s allowed under the new law?

Minnesota’s new hands-free law allows drivers to use their cell phones 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 phones at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, 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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