Tickets Fly on First Day of Hands-Free Law
It's hard to imagine that anyone would have missed the news of the hands-free cell phone law that went into effect Thursday. But some drivers claimed that to be the case after being pulled over for holding their phone to make a call, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
The Eagan Police Department Twitter account reports on a woman who knew about the law, "No joke, this driver was texting about the 'hands free law' while I was watching her in the next lane. She then put phone up to her ear to make a call. Thanks for spreading the word but COME ON! She was given a citation," tweeted @EaganPolice.
The first citation was written at about 2 am Thursday in the west Metro, said a State Patrol spokesman.
Since the legislature passed the bill, a flurry of public service announcements across a variety of media have bombarded the public. But giving up something you have become accustomed to doing isn't easy. A University of Utah psychologist, who is a national expert on the topic, compared it to giving up alcohol.
A ticket for using your phone illegally starts as a $50 fine plus court costs. A second violation runs $275. A ticket could also impact your car insurance rate.
Drivers can still use a cell phone as long as they follow the law. One-touch activation and voice command features are permitted for calls, music and GPS. Click here for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety information page on the Hands-Free law. A phone can be held to make an emergency call.
The DPS site reports that Minnesota is the 16th state to enact a hands-free law. Twelve states have seen a decrease in distracted-related fatalities. Safety advocates have been pushing for the change in Minnesota for about five years.
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