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Higher Fine for Texting While Driving

​Drivers who repeatedly choose texting over safety while behind the wheel risk a higher fine for violating the law beginning August 1. Under the enhanced law, drivers face a $225 fine for second and subsequent violations of the texting while driving law, in addition to the current $50 fine.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign. It is also illegal for drivers with a permit or provisional driver’s license to use a cell phone while driving, except for emergencies to call 911.

Visit the DPS Blog

The Department of Public Safety Blog highlights DPS events and actions that help keep Minnesotans safe and ready. Posts are published every Monday and Thursday. Check out our latest blog post.

Local Alert and Warning

​When disaster strikes and it's time to evacuate, seconds count. The sooner you know what's going on, the better your chances of survival. Experts in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management division know this, and they support communication upgrades that save lives. Read more about Wireless Emergency Alerts in the DPS blog.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives But Only if They Work

​People die every year in Minnesota homes where smoke alarms are absent or not properly working. Those deaths are preventable, which is why State Fire Marshal Bruce West urges everyone to put fresh batteries in home smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke alarms need to be checked monthly and batteries changed at least once a year. Alarms should be replaced after 10 years.