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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
 

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Minnesota's new hands-free law is making headlines across the state. Below are links to media reports that will help educate drivers and raise awareness about the requirements for using a cell phone while driving beginning Aug. 1.


News Stories



Moose hockey car wash encourages drivers to go “hands free”

Monticello Times
On Aug. 1 the “hands-free” law went into effect and the Monticello high school hockey team hosted a car wash to promote the new driving regulation. ...




New Hands Free Driving Law in effect Thursday in Minnesota

Northland News Center
Starting August 1st drivers will have to be hands-free while behind the wheel in Minnesota. ...




Hands-free law hits road Aug. 1

Star News
Driving in Elk River and across the state of Minnesota is expected to become safer in the coming weeks, months and years with the implementation of a new “hands-free” cellphone law that takes effect Aug. 1. ...




Hands-free driving: Tips and technology to prepare for Aug. 1 cellphone law

Brainerd Dispatch
Come Thursday, Aug. 1, the state of Minnesota will be joining a club of states and territories (plus the District of Columbia) with hands-free driving laws. ...




Both hands on the wheel

Pine and Lakes Echo Journal
Beginning Thursday, Aug. 1, Minnesota drivers will no longer be able to hold their cellphones in their hands while operating a vehicle. ...




Hands-free phones for drivers tops Minnesota new laws list

Associated Press
Minnesota motorists will be required to use hands-free devices if they want to talk on the phone while driving. Slower drivers must move over to let faster drivers pass. Groping a person's clothed buttocks without consent will become a crime. And vaping in public indoor spaces and workplaces will become as illegal as cigarette smoking in them. ...




Put the phone down Aug. 1

Hutchinson Leader
Police will have a new law to enforce starting Thursday, but they hope it will actually make the rules simpler. It’s already illegal to text and drive, but as of Aug. 1, if you’re holding your phone while you drive, chances are you’re breaking the law. ...




Hands free law is for road safety

Fairmont Sentinel
Thursday will be a life-changing day for many motorists as Minnesota’s hands-free law takes effect. This does not mean you can’t use your cell phone, but it does mandate that you can’t hold it while you are driving or stopped at a stop sign. You can still listen to music and podcasts, use your GPS for directions and make or receive calls or texts, but all this usage must be done only by voice command or single-touch activation. ...




Minnesota’s Hands-Free cell phone law goes into effect August 1

Advocate Tribune
Beginning on Aug. 1, Minnesota law will require drivers to put down their phones and go hands-free while driving. The state’s hands-free cell phone law makes Minnesota the 19th state, along with Washington, D.C., to enact laws regarding hands-free use while driving. ...




Minn. State Patrol says hands-free law will make it easier to see violations

KSTP
Starting August 1, several new laws will go into effect in Minnesota, including the much-talked about "hands-free law." Law enforcement officials say once the law takes effect, it's going to be a lot easier to catch people breaking the law. ...




Minnesota drivers days from turning to hands-free law

Duluth News Tribune
With roads as crowded as ever, state and local authorities are counting on the new hands-free cellphone law starting Aug. 1 to change a culture of distracted driving among Minnesotans. ...




What to know about Minnesota's new hands-free law, starting Aug. 1

Southwest News Media
Cell phone use while driving will only be legal through voice commands or single-touch activation starting Thursday, Aug. 1. ...




Hands-free law's goal: Eliminate distracted driving

Litchfield Independent Review
As a milk hauler for First District Association, Patrick Riley has witnessed his share of bad driving habits. That’s why he welcomes Minnesota’s new hands-free driving law. ...




Lueck urges people prepare for ‘hands free’ cellphone driving law Aug. 1

Brainerd Dispatch
Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin urges drivers to prepare for the Aug. 1 change in law prohibiting the use of handheld electronic devices such as cellphones when behind the wheel. ...




What to know before hands-free law goes into effect

WCCO
In 10 days, Minnesota roads will be changed forever. The hands-free law goes into effect Aug. 1. ...




5 ways to follow Minnesota’s new hands-free cellphone driving law

MPR News
Texting while driving has been against the law in Minnesota for years, but you could still legally pick up your phone to answer a call while behind the wheel. Those days are numbered. ...




Talking roadway safety and the new hands-free law with U of M

University of Minnesota
Nichole Morris, director of the HumanFIRST Lab at the University of Minnesota, speaks about what it means for a vehicle to be hands-free, what defines distracted driving and how drivers can drive hands-free. ...




Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson talks about the hands-free law

KYMN Radio
Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson provides information about the Hands Free Law that will go into effect on August 1, 2019. ...




'The phone can wait': Prepare to go hands-free by Aug. 1

Fox 9
In less than two weeks, you'll have to rely on voice commands to make a phone call, send texts or get your GPS going if you're on the road. ...




Speech to text for hands free law- beyond your phone

KIMT
Minnesota's new hands-free law takes effect in just a couple of weeks. It bans drivers from talking on the phone while behind the wheel unless it's in "hands free" mode. ...




What you can and cannot do under the new hands free law

KNSI
We're just two weeks away from the new hands free law in Minnesota. Attorney Mike Bryant of Bradshaw and Bryant was a guest of KNSI's Dan Terhaar and he says hands free means exactly that. ...




Moorhead Police remind you about upcoming Hands-Free law

Valley News Live
The Moorhead Police Department wants to remind you to stay safe, stay alive and stay out of trouble under the new Hands-Free law. ...




‘Make our roads safer’: MN State Patrol Chief Matt Langer explains hands-free law

WCCO
In two and a half weeks, the state’s new hands-free driving law goes into effect. The state of Minnesota has allocated $300,000 in an outreach campaign to let people know what the law involves. ...




Hands free law going into effect in August

KSFY
Minnesota state leaders and law enforcement throughout the state are preparing to enforce the hands free while driving law effective August 1. The bill became law in April with Governor Tim Walz’s signature. Support was shown in Saint Paul by legislators, law enforcement, and families that lost loved ones because of distracted driving. ...




Moorhead Police Department offers tips to prepare for “hands-free” law

KVRR
The Moorhead Police Department offered tips to help prepare for the new “Hands-Free” law that will take effect August 1, 2019 in Minnesota. ...




Hands-free bill to go into effect as distracted driving citations rise

Minnesota Daily
Amid an increase in distracted driving, agencies statewide hope a new law will help curb accidents on Minnesota roads. ...




How to go hands-free at the wheel

KEYC
On August first, Minnesota will become the 19th state to enact laws regarding hands-free use while driving. ...




Officers hand out cellphone clips in advance of hands-free law

KSTP
Law enforcement officials want drivers to keep their hands off their phones and their eyes on the roads, which is why officials have launched a program to hand out more than 1,000 phone clips to Minnesota drivers. ...




How to prepare for the ‘hands-free law’ before Aug. 1

Grand Rapids Herald-Review
July is upon us, which means sunshine, mosquitoes and only a few weeks until the Hands-Free Law will go into effect for Minnesota drivers. Minnesota will join many states who already have similar laws in place. ...




Hands-free law to take effect

International Falls Journal
A new law that aims to make Minnesota roads safer will go into effect in just under four weeks. ...




Law restricting Minn. drivers' phone use starts Aug. 1

Park Rapids Enterprise
Within a matter of weeks, Minnesota law enforcement officers will be able to pull over drivers who hold their phones while behind the wheel in most circumstances. ...




Put the phone down: New Minnesota law takes effect August 1

WXOW
A new law starts next month in Minnesota that requires drivers to not hold their phone while behind the wheel. ...




Minnesota's new hands free cell phone law coming soon

Rochester Post Bulletin
Minnesota's new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect one month from today on August 1st. Don't wait, make the move to hands-free now. ...




Minnesota to drivers: Put down your phone

MPR News
Many drivers haven't gotten the message yet. They need to change their behavior when it comes to using cellphones in their vehicles. And they need to do it soon. Minnesota's new hands-free requirement takes effect on Aug. 1. ...




Minnesota officials step up outreach on new hands-free law

Star Tribune
With a little more than a month before Minnesota’s new hands-free law goes into effect, officials are intensifying efforts to make sure people know what they can and can’t do behind the wheel. ...




MN unleashes campaign ahead of Aug. 1 law restricting drivers’ phone use

Pioneer Press
Within a matter of weeks, Minnesota law enforcement officers will be able to pull over drivers who hold their cellphones while behind the wheel in most circumstances. ...




Driving to Illinois? New 'hands-free' law takes effect to decrease distracted driving

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Beginning Monday, Illinois became a "hands free" state, meaning law enforcement officers can ticket drivers for texting, calling, navigating — anything that involves holding a cellphone, tablet or laptop. Illinois isn't the only border state cracking down. Minnesota has a similar law coming Aug. 1. ...




State preparing for hands-free law

KNSI Radio
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. ...




Minnesota officials educate public ahead of hands-free law

CBS 3 Duluth
With the hands-free cell phone law taking effect August 1, motorists have been reaching out to the Department of Public Safety in Minnesota with many frequently asked questions. ...




Minnesota builds awareness of new hands-free cellphone law

Austin Daily Herald
Minnesota safety officials are redoubling their efforts to make drivers aware of a state law that takes effect Aug. 1 requiring that motorists use hands-free devices while phoning on the road. ...




Hands-free law to take effect in Minnesota on August 1

KVRR
The hands–free law will go into effect in just over a month in Minnesota. Before you get on the road, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says you should start keeping the hands-free law in mind now. ...




Minnesota builds awareness of new hands-free cell phone law

Crookston Times
Minnesota safety officials redoubled their efforts Thursday to make drivers aware of a state law that takes effect Aug 1 requiring that motorists use hands-free devices while phoning on the road. ...




Minnesota hands-free law begins Aug. 1

Bluff Country Newspaper Group
Because of the dangers posed by distracted driving, Minnesota joined 17 other states, plus Washington, D.C., in passing a hands-free law that ...




'Nobody wants to see a preventable tragedy': Hands-free driving law enforced Aug. 1

WCCO
On Aug. 1, hands-free driving will become law. State officials are calling it one of the biggest changes on Minnesota roads in a decade. ...




Campaign reaching out to drivers about new hands-free law

KWLM (Willmar Radio)
A campaign is reaching out to Minnesota drivers to share information about the new hands-free law. The law takes effect August 1st and ...




Campaign aims to reach all Minnesota drivers with info about new hands-free law

Star Tribune
A new law requiring drivers to use phones in a hands-free mode goes into effect Aug. 1, and in the coming weeks Minnesotans can expect to hear a lot about it. ...



Gov. Walz signs ‘hands-free’ bill into law

WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Later this summer, millions of Minnesotans will have to change their driving habits. On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz signed a “hands-free” bill into law. ...




Minnesota becomes 18th hands-free driving state, law takes effect Aug. 1

Fox 9
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a ban on drivers using cell phones except in hands-free mode Friday, saying the new restrictions would save lives. ...




Hands-free law takes effect in August, here's how you can comply

KEYC
MANKATO-- Gov. Tim Walz signed a hands-free driving bill that will soon have Minnesotans using only hands-free options. ...




How can you pair a smartphone with an older car?

WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Starting Aug. 1, Minnesotans will use hands-free devices in their cars. For any driver with a newer car that already has Bluetooth, it’ll be easy to talk without holding the phone. Drivers just have to pair their phone with their car. ...




Tips for Minnesota drivers on new 'hands-free' cellphone law

Star Tribune
Four words no one wants to hear: “We need to talk.” But that’s what the Minnesota Legislature has decreed for drivers who use cellphones. “Hands-free” rules go into effect Aug. 1, and drivers who ignore the law likely will find themselves chatting with a police officer.




Options for going hands-free once new Minnesota law takes effect

Valley News Live
The "hands-free" rules will take effect in August and it means you can't hold your phone while driving in Minnesota. ...




Hands free law and what it means

kymnradio.net
The Minnesota Dept. of Safety has released some educational pieces to help spread the word about the new Hands Free Cell Phone bill that will become law on August 1st, 2019. ...




With hands-free to be law, family continues to fight distracted

Grand Rapids Herald Review
Tim Walz signed into law a ban on using a cell phone while driving unless it's in hands-free mode at the Minnesota Capitol Friday, April 12, 2019. ...




MNDPS wants people to go hands-free behind the wheel starting now

KIMT
Minnesotans are getting ready to change their driving habits as a new law goes into effect in a few months, but Minnesota Department of Public Safety is encouraging people to start now. ...




Local law enforcement agencies prep for MN's 'hands-free' cellphone regs

Grand Forks Herald
If you're driving anywhere in Minnesota in the near future, be sure to put down your phone while driving. That's the message law enforcement agencies in western Minnesota are sharing ahead of a new state law requiring motorists to put their phones into hands-free mode while driving. ...




State Patrol warns drivers to change dangerous driving behaviors in advance of new hands-free law

KSTP
The Minnesota State Patrol is reminding drivers that changing potentially dangerous driving behaviors needs to be a top priority in advance of the state's new hands-free cellphone law taking effect on Aug. 1. ...




What you need to know about the new hands-free law

Saint Cloud Times
The core of the new hands-free cell phone law is in that name: Drivers in Minnesota will no longer be allowed to hold their phones, according to Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol. ...




Put the phone down and drive...seriously: Local law enforcement talks enforcing, effect of hands-free bill

Detroit Lakes Online
When a new Hands-free Law goes into effect Aug. 1 this year, lawmakers are hoping Minnesota will join the ranks of the dozen states that have decreased traffic fatalities by an average of 15%. ...




Minnesota hands-free law in effect August 1

Bluff Country Newspaper Group
Because of the dangers posed by distracted driving, Minnesota joined 17 other states, plus Washington D.C., in passing a hands-free law that goes into effect August 1. But what exactly does “hands-free” mean? ...




New law: Phones to be used hands-free only while driving in Minnesota

KIWA Radio
Statewide Minnesota — If your travels take you into Minnesota, there’s something you should know as a driver of a vehicle in that state. ...




What you need to know about Minnesota's changing rules of the road

Saint Cloud Times
This year, new laws and a pilot project will take effect and aim to change the culture of the roadways. Here are three changes to keep in mind while driving this summer ...




Law aims to cut distracted driving

Fairmont Sentinel
FAIRMONT — Distracted driving has become a dangerous issue, one that a new Minnesota law looks to combat. ...






Opinion/Editorial



Governor's View Column: New laws will help keep Minnesotans safe on the road

Duluth News Tribune
Whether driving up to the cabin, carpooling kids to camp, or towing your boat to the lake, Minnesotans spend much of the summer on the road. From these busy final weeks of summer to the dead of winter, we must do everything we can to ensure our families arrive where they’re going safely. ...




Our View: Embracing week-old hands-free law 'hard'

Duluth News Tribune
One full week in, how you doing? For many of us it’s tough to put down the smartphone, to ignore it even for a short time. But the law in Minnesota, in effect on Aug. 1, says we now have to when driving. Have to. Can’t even have it in our hand. ...




Rosario: Plan to flout new distracted driving law? Mortuary wants you to think twice.

Pioneer Press
The following is a local marketing stroke of slogan genius: “Drive Safely — We Can Wait.” This comes courtesy of Mueller Memorial, a 63-year-old Twin Cities-based funeral and cremation service with branches on St. Paul’s East Side off Johnson Parkway and in White Bear Lake. ...




EDITORIAL: Just put it down

Hutchinson Leader
It seems that almost everyone has a story to tell about distracted driving. We found that out when Crow River Media reporter Sarv Mithaqiyan asked a question via social media regarding how people felt about Minnesota’s new hands-free driving law. ...




Starting Aug. 1, hands-free will be the law

Star Tribune
This weekend, the Hopkins Police Department will start handing out free phone clips to motorists. It's a smart, practical way to inform drivers about a new state law — and help them comply. ...




Commentary: Will you be ready for Minnesota's new hands-free law?

Southwest News Media
As many of you have heard by now, the Minnesota Legislature has established a new hands-free phone use law for motorists. The law becomes active, and enforceable, on Aug. 1. With only a few weeks before then, it’s important for all motorists to become familiar with the changes. ...




Times Editorial - Hands-free law can only help, but we can still be distracted

Crookston Times
Most drivers have probably been there, even though most would rather not admit publicly that they’ve been there: You’re behind the wheel of a vehicle that’s new enough and possesses the technology that allows you to communicate with others via texting or voice phone call without actually holding your phone, and so you’re doing just that...talking on your phone or texting someone, hands-free. You’re communicating with someone, but you’re still able to keep your hands on the steering wheel, and your eyes on the road. ...




Hands Free Law : We All Need To Stop

The Legal Examiner
On August 1, the Hands Free Law will go into affect in Minnesota. Basically, unless it’s a real emergency, you can’t have your phone in your hands while driving. ...




Hands-free law begins Aug. 1; are you ready?

Fairmont Sentinel
The law won’t take effect in Minnesota for another month, but when Aug. 1 rolls around, motorists driving while holding a phone up to their ear can be pulled over and given a ticket. ...




Hands-free cell phone law in effect Aug. 1

New Ulm Journal
Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. In the last five years there have been at least 49 crashes in the city of New Ulm that were caused by distracted driving. ...




Commentary: The new hands-free law needs a new village

Southwest News Media
Aug. 1, 2019, is the day when the new hands-free law goes into effect. Getting the hands-free legislation passed only paved the way for a distraction-free driving future. Now we must make it work. ...




Our View: Don't wait on law to hang up and drive

Duluth News Tribune
After five years of frustrating inaction in St. Paul, with deaths and bloodshed only mounting on our highways, the Minnesota Legislature — finally and thankfully — voted for common sense and safety and a law to ban holding a cell phone while driving. Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill last week after it was passed by the DFL-majority House and Republican-controlled Senate. ...




Our View: Legislature: Finally, hands-free law passed for safety

Mankato Free Press
A bipartisan bill to ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving will increase the safety of Minnesota roads and prevent needless tragedies of innocent victims hit and often killed by distracted drivers. ...




A rare show of bipartisanship on a common-sense issue

The New Prague Times
Last week, both the DFL-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate passed a Hands-Free Cell Phone bill that was then signed by Gov. Tim Walz. ...




Ask the Chief: Driving a tractor? No handheld cell for you either

Red Wing Republican Eagle
Does the cellphone law apply to farmers when driving tractors on the road? Good question, as you may be aware; Gov. Tim Walz signed the "hands-free cell phone" bill into law on April 12, 2019. ...




Dixit: Get educated with the Minnesota’s new hands-free law

Eden Prairie News
Aug. 1, 2019, will usher in a safer Minnesota. On that day we will be able to proudly claim residence in a state with a hands-free law. Thanks to Gov. Tim Walz for putting his signature on a bill that had evaded passage for close to a decade in the state legislature. The ever-worsening distracted driving crisis in Minnesota could not escape attention any more. ...