(FOX 9) - Minnesota’s hands-free law went into effect Thursday, Aug. 1 and drivers are already being cited.
Here’s what you need to know, according to the state Department of Public Safety:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- You can keep your phone anywhere in the vehicle. Your phone can be mounted somewhere if it does not obstruct your windshield view.
- You can use voice commands or a single touch to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions on your phone.
- You can use in-car screens and systems, including GPS devices. They are exempt from the law.
- You can use your hand-held phone to obtain emergency assistance when there is an immediate threat to life and safety or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.
- You can use ignition interlock systems.
- You can use amateur radio, two-way radio and citizens band.
WHAT YOU CANNOT DO:
- You cannot hold your phone while driving.
- You cannot use your phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos, using navigation apps, reading texts, scrolling or typing on the phone.
- You cannot use your smart watch, except to simply check the time.
If law enforcement finds you in violation of this law, here are the penalties:
- First offense: More than $120 fine, which includes the $50 fine plus court costs.
- Second offense: More than $300 fine, which includes court costs.
- Offenses could also increase insurance rates.
- If you injure or kill someone under the hands-free law, you can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide.
For more information, visit HandsFreeMN.org.
OTHER AUG. 1 LAWS:
Two other laws went into effect Aug. 1 in Minnesota. Find out more information on those laws below.
Left-lane driving law: What you can and can't do under Minnesota's revised left-lane driving law
Hands-free driving law: What you can and can't do under Minnesota's new hands-free driving law