It’s Now Illegal To Hold A Phone While Driving in MN

The State is the 19th One to Implement This Law

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota drivers are no longer able to use their phones behind the wheel, unless it’s through voice command or single touch.

“I don’t know if the rule would be followed as much as I hope it would be because, you know, they can’t pull over everyone,” said Koby Kooren of Moorhead.

It looks like they might not have to. Moorhead Police Officer Ethan Meehan is keeping his eyes peeled, but so far, he says most people are keeping their hands on the wheel.

Over the span of an hour, he watched hundreds of drivers cruise past his squad car but only made one stop, which ended with no citation.

Others aren’t as lucky.

A woman in Eagan received a ticket for holding her phone to text and call. Turns out, she was talking to her friend about the new law.

As for some others, not much has changed.

“I know I get kind of mad when people are on their phone and they don’t realize what they’re doing. And I try not to touch my phone and now it will really make me not touch my phone because I know that it’s now illegal,” said Moorhead resident Sonja Flancher.

The department says it would rather educate than penalize drivers, but tickets are simply part of that learning process.

The first offense will cost you 50 dollars, and the second one will be more than 275. That doesn’t include court fees.

“Studies have shown behaviors only change with certain people after they’ve received a citation, so the reason for those citations is that behavior change. And we’re looking to try and educate as many people as possible, and if that means having to write a citation to get them educated and get their behavior to change, that’s what we’re gonna do,” said Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson.

Officers say although hands-free only pertains to holding your cell phone, other types of distracted driving like eating and putting on makeup, could cost someone their life.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead