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Hands-Free: Now the Law in Minnesota

A driver holding a cellphone

Governor Tim Walz signed a new hands-free cell phone bill into law April 12 to help further reduce distractions behind the wheel.

Starting Aug. 1, drivers will no longer be able to hold their cell phones in their hands. They will be able to use their phones to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single touch activation without holding the phone.

Remember, hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free. We want Minnesotans to stay safe, stay alive and stay out of trouble under the new law.

Visit the HandsFreeMN website for more information.

Before You Use That Shovel, Read This.

Colored flags marking underground utilities

When we say “Call before you dig,” we’re not just talking to those people in hard hats who work for construction companies and operate giant backhoes. We’re talking to you. You, standing in your backyard, trying to decide whether to plant the tomatoes by the garage or over by the fence this year.

Calling 811 before you dig is easy. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to call; you can enter your dig information online. Plus, it’s free for you—the cost is covered by Minnesota’s underground facility operators. So before you use that shovel in your hand, read this.

Four Counties, Three Emergencies and One Life-Saving Tool

Floodwater and ice chunks covering a road

What do Freeborn, Scott, Steele and Stevens counties have in common? They’ve all had disasters this spring that required Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) – and in each case, they worked exactly as intended.

Residents got the safety information they needed, exactly when they needed it, whether it was staying off the roads in a winter storm, evacuating residents during flooding, or finding shelter from the cold during a power outage.

Find out just how effective WEAs can be in our blog.

Featured Video

Video Description: Catch up on DPS news and events in our "Public Safety: In Focus" video series.