In less than a week, Minnesota law will require drivers to put down their phones and go hands-free while driving. The state’s hands-free cell phone law takes effect Aug. 1 and makes Minnesota the 19th state, along with Washington, D.C., to enact laws regarding hands-free use while driving.
The new law allows drivers over 18 to use their cell 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. The new hands-free law does not change anything for teens under 18 with a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license: They cannot make or answer calls while driving (hand-held or hands-free).
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has prepared several resources to help in educating patients and their caregivers about the new law. Consider posting the Hands-Free FAQ in your exam rooms, or directing drivers to this 1-minute video from the Minnesota Safety Council about ways to comply with the new law.