It is already illegal in Minnesota to text and drive. A new bill, which goes into effect on August 1st, will put further restrictions on distracted driving. Texting, emailing, and browsing the internet while driving are illegal. The new law bans motorist from holding cellphones. The hands free cellphone bill also bans manually entering a phone number, scrolling through contacts or texts, and entering an address into GPS.
The new law has a tougher penalty for violators, a $50 fine for first time violations and a $275 fine for repeat offenders. The violation is a petty misdemeanor, and will also increase your car insurance rates.
You can still use your cellphone, as long as it is through voice-activated commands. If your phone is connected to your car via Bluetooth, or anchored to the dash, you can make or receive calls, as long as it is hands free. The bill does have an exception for emergency calls, like to 911, while driving.
The new law and enforcement will begin on August 1st. Start complying with the new law early; it will help start a good habit. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, and can be prevented. If you are cited and fined for the new hands free cellphone bill, not only will you have to pay a fine, your car insurance will likely increase.
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