(ST. PAUL) – There were smiles and some tears in the room also, as Governor Tim Walz this morning signed a bill that, beginning August 1st, makes it illegal to use a cell phone while driving except in hands-free mode. Present at the bill signing were not only lawmakers who championed the legislation over a number of years, but also families of those whose loved ones were killed by distracted drivers. Thomas and Wendy Goeltz from Hudson Wisconsin lost their daughter Megan and her unborn child in a crash near Stillwater in February 2016. Thomas says, “This is a great first step. It’s gonna help save lives, but that’s all it is, is a first step. We need to do much more education.”

State Patrol Chief, Colonel Matt Langer promises a “full court press on education” so no Minnesotan is surprised by the hands-free law when it takes effect August 1st.