Do We Have A “Hands Free” Law? You’d Never Know It
I spend a lot of time driving on 94 or Highway 10 back and forth to Fargo or Detroit Lakes. I'm just amazed at the number of drivers I see texting while driving.
Minnesota law enforcement agencies are currently conducting an extra enforcement period on distracted driving, that will run through this Saturday (8/8). The Hands Free law went into affect just over a year ago and since then almost 20 thousand drivers have been cited for violating the Minnesota law.
Sergeant Jason Petterson says, "Slipping back into old habits is easy. While going back to some old habits might make you gain weight or go into debt, slipping back into manipulating your phone while driving could cost you your life. Re-commit to driving distraction-free by going hands-free with your cell phone."
Just taking your eyes off the road for a second or two can have end very badly. Think of it, you are barreling down the road in a ton of steel, you really need to be paying attention.
Law enforcement says some drivers claim that they weren't aware of the law. Others quote "are having a hard time breaking the habit or have been slipping back into old habits. Other drivers stopped have phone holders in the vehicle but aren't using them, or they think law enforcement isn't conducting traffic stops during the pandemic."
Be careful out there. Use your phone's voice command hands free mode and maybe save your life or someone else's. The fine for the 1st offense is $100 plus extra fees and the 2nd time you are looking at more than $300.