Minnesota Preps To Go Hands-Free

We are just a week away from the hands-free law going in place

DULUTH, Minn.- We are just under a week away from Minnesota becoming a hands-free driving state.

The new law takes in effect next Thursday and it allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music and get directions, but only by voice commands or single–touch activation without holding the phone.

Once this law starts, you may not hold your phone in your hand. Also, a driver may not use their phone at any time for video calling, video live–streaming, Snapchat, gaming, or looking at video or photos stored on the phone, using non–navigation apps, reading texts and scrolling or typing on the phone will also be illegal.

If someone is pulled over, the first offense is a fifty dollar ticket, then after that it’s a two hundred seventy–five dollar ticket plus court fees.

Law enforcement agencies are hoping the new law has the same effect in Minnesota as it has in other states that are hands free.

“In other states that have laws like this, there are 15 states and 12 of those witnessed a significant decrease in fatal crashes”, said Ingrid Hornibrook, Duluth Police Public Information Officer.

From headphones, to Bluetooth headsets, and even mounts you can put on your dashboard. Area businesses have been busy with customers lately, looking for accessories to go hands free. But it all comes down to personal preference.

“The best way to go about this if you don’t have an option such as Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord or cassette adaptor and you are not open to using a mount for example, at that point I would tell you to go with the free option. Which is don’t use your phone while driving, just keep it safe”, said Matt Stine, Best Buy Specialty Connections Manager.

When this law goes in effect next week, you still can use your hand–held phone to get emergency assistance, if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when you are in an authorized emergency vehicle performing official duties.

As for the cost of accessories needed to make this switch, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped for hands free cell use, they range from $10 to $50.

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