State Preparing For Hands-Free Law

State Preparing For Hands-Free Law Click to Enlarge Photo: Minnesota Department of Public Safety

(KNSI) - The state is preparing the public for a major change in driving behavior as the state's hands-free cell phone law takes effect in just over a month.

Officials say it takes about 30 days for people to develop new habits so they're reminding people about the law and their options before hands free enforcement begins on August 1st.

Minnesota State Patrol Colonel Matt Langer simplified the law for people.

"One easy way to just strip right down to the brass-tax is to say you can't hold the phone while driving."

A person can use their phone as a GPS as long as they're not holding the phone and a person can use a cell phone if it's attached to a, hijab, a head scarf or other item of clothing as long as it doesn't block a person's vision.

Colonel Langer says they want people to be well aware of the law.

"Our goal is absolutely to educate, to prevent the potential for crashes, serious crashes and fatal crashes."

Part of that education is learning how to use the options already on many people's phones.

"One thing we found is a lot of Minnesotans have technology available to them that they haven't yet learned, because they're just in the habit of just holding the phone and the simplest, cheapest available option for everyone, is to simply not use the phone while driving."

Langer says he hopes the new law doesn't give people a false sense of safety behind the wheel.

"Just because you're hands free does not mean you are distraction free so, we are not encouraging the use of cell phones while driving, we are educating about the law and encouraging drivers to put 100-percent of their attention toward driving."

After August 1st, drivers pulled over for violating the hands-free law will pay a $120 fine on the first ticket and a $300 fine thereafter.

For the answers to more of your hands-free questions,click here.