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Gov. Walz Signs "Hands-Free" Driving Bill into Law

Taylor Holt
Updated: April 12, 2019 06:15 PM

Friday, Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a bill that will require Minnesota drivers to use hands-free devices behind the wheel.

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The bill cleared its final legislative hurdle Thursday when the Senate approved compromise language 48-12. It states that a person driving, whether "in motion or a part of traffic" is prohibited from using a wireless communications device unless "in a voice-activated or other hands-free mode."

The final version dropped a provision that would have allowed for phones tucked under head ware such as hijabs.

Minnesota already bans texting, emailing and web browsing while driving. The law will carry a $50 fine for the first violation and $275 after that.

The signing ceremony took place Friday morning. Sponsors say the experience of other states with similar distracted-driving laws shows they save lives.

The law will take effect Aug. 1, making Minnesota the 17th state to require all drivers to use their phones in hands-free mode. 

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Taylor Holt

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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