MN Could Ban Cellphone Use While Driving Unless Using Hands-Free

Map created by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Bill could make talking on the cellphone while driving illegal unless using hands-free device

St. Paul, MN – Legislators are proposing a new bill that would ban cellphone use while driving, with the exception of a hands-free device.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 14 other states and Washington, D.C. ban using a hand-held cellphone device while driving. Minnesota has banned texting while driving since 2008. All but four states have similar texting bans.

The bill is co-authored by Rep. Frank Hornstein (D – Minneapolis) and Rep. Mark Uglem (R – Champlin).

“Constituents tell us, and the data affirms, that we’re seeing more and more accidents as a result of distracted driving,” Hornstein told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We know that we’re going to save lives and prevent injuries with this type of legislation.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the bill would take effect July 1st, and have the same penalties as the texting ban. A first offense will be fined $50, with any subsequent offenses being fined an additional $225.

The bill is being introduced and will be available to the public later this week.

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Christine Bauman