Message in American Sign Language (ASL) with captions and voiceover
12/7/2020 10:17:38 AM
We've received a lot of questions since the hands-free cell phone law went into effect. How does it affect our community? What can we and what can't we do while driving?
The law means you can no longer hold a phone in your hand while driving. It must be mounted or placed in another area of the vehicle.
We understand the challenges our community faces when communicating by phone. But remember, the law helps keep you and your loved ones safe.
We know many of you rely on video chatting as a way to communicate. Video chatting, accessing the internet, and social media apps are illegal while driving under Minnesota law.
Some asked if we are exempt from this law. That is not true. The law is here to protect everyone. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a moment, is extremely dangerous and can lead to a crash.
Under the law, you can use your phone in hands-free mode to make calls, but we all know that is challenging. Our advice is to put the phone away altogether while driving. Out of sight, out of mind.
We know there might be times that you need to make a call. We recommend that you pull off the road in a safe place and make the call while parked. Remember, if you are on the highway or interstate, it's illegal to pull to the side of the road unless it's an emergency. So, go to the next available exit and find a parking lot where you can safely make your call.
One thing you can still do is use your phone in GPS mode. Again, this must be done hands-free and set before you start driving.
This law might be frustrating for some. It might be a big change for you. But is making that video call behind the wheel worth your life or another person's life? This law will reduce traffic fatalities and make the roads safer for all of us. You can find more information about the law at handsfreemn.org.