During the first five months of Minnesota’s hands-free law, 9,727 drivers were cited for violating the law. For those who have not gone hands-free or have slipped into old habits, now is the time to “park the phone.”
The Minnesota hands-free law went into effect on Aug. 1, 2019. State Patrol troopers and law enforcement officers throughout Minnesota have seen an increasing number of drivers using hands-free options such as mounts.
However, some drivers that have been stopped say they are aware of the new law but are having a hard time breaking the habit.
Preliminary reports show that distracted driving contributed to more than 60,000 (one in five) crashes from 2014 to 2018 and an average of 45 deaths and 204 life-changing injuries per year during the same time period.
Of the 9,727 hands-free citations from Aug 1. – Dec. 31:
o 3,518 were drivers 16-29-years-old.
o 4,520 were drivers 30-49-years-old.
o 1,655 were drivers 50-75-years-old
o One age was unknown.
As part of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s mission to educate Minnesotans about the law, a new advertising campaign is underway, reminding drivers to park the phone. The campaign will run through Feb. 16.