Drivers rush to install alternatives 1 week before of hands-free law in Minnesota

At the Best Buy in Eden Prairie, auto technicians compare what's happening right now to a Christmas rush.

"This time of year is usually, right before school starts, usually really slow," says Blake Jacobson, Geek Squad auto technician. "We are booked out quite a ways right now."

"It's just non-stop for a week and a half or so," added Jacobson.

Vehicles are having their car stereos and dashboards ripped out and replaced with new ones, with costs ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. Both will allow the driver to take and make calls, hands-free.

"That would have the same functions as your phone, so you can say 'Hey Siri, call mom," explains Justine Willrett, specialty sales manager for Best Buy. "It's like, 'Hey Google, call dad.' This kind of replaces the whole need for even your phone on the dash."

"It does music, it does your calls, it can read a text to you when you get a text, it will read you the text and ask you if you want to reply," adds Willrett. "You say ‘yes' and then tell it to send it. So you never actually have to have the phone in your hand."

Meanwhile in her own car, Justine Willret has one of the do-it-yourself cheaper options including a hard wire connecting the phone with the car speakers. Phone mounts are also big sellers. Andy Massie figured it's time for him to get used to a new Bluetooth headset before the hands-free cell phone law goes into effect next week.

He says, "I'm for it. I've seen too many close calls out there on the roads and accidents that just don't have to happen. What we want is for people to drive."

Lt. Gordon Shank with Minnesota State Patrol points out while single-touch use and voice commands are legal, the cheapest and safest option is not using your phone while driving at all.

He explains, "Our advice is if you are going to go hands-free and not put the phone away, make sure you are practicing now. So, that August 1st isn't a shock and it's not something you are waiting last minute to be prepared for."

Massie feels more prepared already. "Hundred bucks, it's well worth the hassle it might cause."

Again, the hands-free law takes effect next Thursday, August 1. To encourage drivers to obey the law, the Minnesota State Patrol will be handing out 7,000 magnet mounts that attach your phone to the air vent of your car.