MARSHALL (KMHL) – It is less than a week until Minnesota goes hands free when it comes to cell phone use in vehicles. It is a big change for drivers around the state.
“Like everything people have to get used to the change, but people haven’t been doing a good job of that so far,” said State Patrol Captain Casey Meagher. “August first is the definite line in the sand.”
The law is simple for enforcement if the phone is in your hand you can be fined.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says nearly 1 in 5 crashes in Minnesota was related to distracted driving. That’s more than 60,000 crashes between 2014-2018. Meagher says the goal is increasing safety on Minnesota roads.
“That’s ultimately what our goal is, to try and reduce the number of crashes – injuries and fatalities in the state of Minnesota,” said Meagher.
According to DPS, the new law would allow 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. So for example, phones on a vent clip and used on speaker, would be allowed under the new law.