The Eden Prairie Police Department blog provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the people who work there — their stories, their lives, their work in Eden Prairie and their thoughts on topics from driving to dogs.
Hands-Free Law Goes into Effect Aug. 1
As you are probably aware, Minnesota will have a new hands-free law regarding cell phone usage while driving effective Aug. 1, 2019. There are multiple resources available to familiarize yourself with the new law, including HandsFreeMN.org.
Here a few answers to frequently asked questions about the law:
Q: What can I do under the new law?
A: The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone 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. Remember, hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free.
Q: What can’t I do with my phone under the new law?
A: You may not hold your phone in your hand. Also, a driver may not use their phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos stored on the phone, using non-navigation apps, reading texts and scrolling or typing on the phone.
Q: Can I use a GPS navigation device?
A: Yes. GPS and other systems that can only be used for navigation are exempt from the hands-free law. In-car screens and systems are also exempt. In both cases, most of these systems lock when the vehicle is moving. Keep in mind that if you mount your phone to your windshield, MN Statute 169.71 prohibits any object suspended between the driver and windshield with the exception of GPS devices if they are mounted or located at the bottom-most portion of the windshield.
Q: What are the penalties?
A: The first ticket is $50 plus court fees. A second and subsequent tickers are $275 plus court fees.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Video About Hands-Free Law