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Two weeks until Minnesota hands-free law goes into effect

Back in April Gov. Tim Walz signed the Hands-Free Bill.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 5:39 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 8:45 PM

AUSTIN, Minn- Minnesota's new hands-free law takes effect August 1st. It bans drivers from talking on the phone while behind the wheel unless it's in "hands-free" mode.

Tyler Amick has been driving for seven years. He grew up in a time when people always had our phones including when we're driving.

"I talk of the phone quite a bit when driving," Amick said.

Soon that behavior behind the wheel will get you in trouble with the law.
Back in April Governor Tim Walz signed the Hand Free Bill.
Austin Police Chief David McKichan talks about how this law will work.

"The new law is basically if it's in your hand law enforcement sees it in your hands unless you're losing it for emergency purpose then it cannot be there and you can be stopped and ultimately cited for this offense," McKichan said.

Drivers will not be able to use electronic devices while driving unless they are in hands-free mode.
This includes phones, GPS, and smartwatches. The goal is to make the roads a safer place.
Drivers aren’t the only ones complying with this law McKichan says Law enforcement across the state will m=be making the same efforts.

“For us, in the City of Austin our police department has historically had flip phones we are moving towards smartphones to be in place to be Bluetooth ready and for us to be hands-free by august first,” McKichan said.

The Minnesota State Patrol made a similar change about 6 months ago to get their troopers ahead of the curve.

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