Why it's time to ban phone use while driving in Minnesota

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Mark Cady can’t stand to think about the day last July when he lost the love of his life. Mark’s husband, Hugh Cady, was riding his motorcycle on Highway 280 near Energy Park Drive in St. Paul – just one block from his work exit – when he was involved in a crash.

“He laid there for hours before I could get to him,” Mark said. “The hardest thing was seeing him in that bed. So messed up. So damaged.”

A witness told Hugh’s loved ones that the driver who struck Hugh appeared to be distracted. The Minnesota State Patrol isn’t certain that’s what happened, but they continue to investigate the crash.

Mark and Hugh’s long-time colleagues at the real estate resource firm Northstar MLS knew they had to do something to honor Hugh and make the roads safer. They launched a pledge website, asking people to sign their names to put down their phones and drive focused.

They’re also putting their efforts into getting hands-free legislation passed at the Minnesota Capitol this year.

“If we can encourage people to drive safer, focus behind the wheel -- if that helps save life, our campaign is well worth it,” colleague Ryan White said.

The bill introduced this session would essentially expand the state’s existing ban on texting while driving to include all uses of handheld devices. If passed, Minnesota would join 14 other states and Washington, D.C. in banning hand-held cell phone use while driving.

“There are a lot of people distracted by phones. It’s killing us,” Mark said. “Killing our loved ones -- our family and friends. The problem is killing us. And it’s preventable. We can stop this.”

Take the pledge at https://drivefocused.northstarmls.com