Hands-Free Law Effect On Bicyclists

Bicyclists and walkers hope this law will make the roadway safer for everyone

DULUTH, Minn.- Distracted driving continues to take the lives of Minnesota’s most vulnerable roadway users- people who walk and bike.

And with the hands-free law going in effect next Thursday, both bikers and walkers are hoping it keep them safer.

Once this new law goes in effect next Thursday, drivers can only use their phones via voice commands or activation methods. You will no longer be able to legally hold your phone while driving, hopefully preventing distracted drivers from hitting others sharing the road.

“We know from traffic counts in Duluth that people takes thousands of bicycle trips every single day, every season of the year. So this really is a good step in making our street safer for everyone no matter what mode of transportation they are using”, said Shawna Mullen, Certified League Cycling Instructor.

Even though some Minnesota streets and roads have added bike lanes, bicyclists say they still don’t always feel safe, so the hands free law is something many have been looking forward too.

“The mantra of safety for vulnerable road users of all kinds, bicycles, skates, skateboards, motorcycles, everything, pedestrians is always pretend you are invisible. Pretend people don’t see you”, said Andy Goldfine, Founder & General Manager of Aerostich.

In early 2019, BikeMN conducted a statewide biking and walking survey. Results showed one of the primary things that make them feel unsafe on their bicycles is motor vehicle driver behavior like being distracted by cell phone use.

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