MARSHALL (KMHL) – Consider yourself warned! Minnesota’s new hands free cell phone law will take effect August 1st – and don’t expect a lot of leeway from law enforcement.

Marshall Director of Public Safety, Jim Marshall says the new law is pretty straight forward and will be much easier to enforce.

“Anybody that’s using their cellular phones or cellular devices and it’s in their hands, it’s going to be a criminal offense,” said Marshall. “So we’re really trying to educate people, get them to change their ways and get them to come into compliance voluntarily.”

Marshall says cell phone use continues to be a major factor in accidents and that leads to more injuries and fatalities on state roads.

“The purpose behind it is good and it’s to prevent the fatalities we have been seeing and the distracted driving that goes with it,” said Marshall. “We know the states that have implemented the hands free law have seen a decrease in fatalities up to 15 percent.”

Marshall says there are things drivers can do to outfit their vehicles ahead of August first to comply with the law.