Minnesotans Attempting To Abide By The Hands Free Law, Could Be Violating A Different Law

More than 5,000 citations have been issued across Minnesota since the Hands Free law went into effect in August.

DULUTH, Minn. – Getting a text or call while driving can be very likely.

But what if you need to answer a text or talk on the phone.

Minnesota state patrol says drivers are now pulling over on the shoulder to use their phones which is also against the law.

stopping on an interstate or freeway in Minnesota is illegal.

Unless it is an emergency, no driver is allowed to pull over on the shoulder of an interstate or freeway to use their phones.

“I think its almost a little bit scary to pull over on the road. Maybe find a parking lot or go off on an overpass. Stopping at a gas station is probably would be a more appropriate action,” said Bridget Auch.

Minnesota State Troopers agree with those choices.

Although it may seem like a great idea for drivers to just pull over on the shoulder to use their phone, but troopers say this can be very dangerous.

“A lot of vehicles, squad cars, and emergency vehicles are often struck on the shoulder, so it’s unsafe for us as well,” said Lt. Jason Hanson. “Some people are probably trying to do the right thing in getting out of the roadway or out of traffic lanes, but parking on the shoulder can be illegal, so we caution against doing that.”

Another common issue is Minnesota State Patrol can become flooded with calls from drivers reporting a “possible” stalled vehicle on an interstate.

Troopers eventually are dispatched to those locations, only to find a motorist using their phone.

These instances can prevent authorities from using resources efficiently, like addressing real potential emergencies instead.

Drivers who pull over on the shoulder of an interstate or freeway to use their phone could potentially face a fine for non–emergency stopping and hands free violations.

Those citations could cost up to $130 each.


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