ROCHESTER, Minn. – 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.
MnDPS’s Office of Traffic Safety shared the message in a tweet on April 28.
Meghan Stransky changed her driving habits a couple years ago after almost being hit by a distracted driver while she was walking.
Distracted driving stops with you. Go hands-free today. Learn more at https://t.co/Lu0zu91sDf. And remember: Extra distracted driving enforcement continues on Minnesota roads through Tuesday. #JustDrive #HandsFreeMN pic.twitter.com/np6IiGdSF2
— MN Traffic Safety (@MnDPS_OTS) April 28, 2019
“There's people on the sidewalks, there's people on the street, there's other people in cars. You know, there's all sorts of things. And you don't know if they're not paying attention so you might as well pay attention,” she said.
She made the behavior change by keeping her phone out of reach when behind the wheel.
“Say I'm going to be on a long drive, and I may get bored and want to reach for my phone. I like to keep it in the back seat so it's out of sight, out of mind,” she said.
When the law goes into effect, people will still be able to use their phone while driving, but only if it’s handsfree. People can use Bluetooth or even have one earbud in (both in is illegal.)
People are allowed to use their phone in their hand in cases of emergencies and if they need to call 911.
Come August, getting caught for the first time with a phone in hand will cost $50 plus court fees. For every time after that, the cost is $275 plus court fees.
To learn more on the dos and the don’ts of the handsfree law in Minnesota click here.