St. Paul, Minn. – Today, Minnesota is one step closer to safer roads thanks to the passage of HF 50. Modeled after laws present in 16 states and Washington D.C. the ‘hands-free’ cell phone bill is the culmination of years of work and advocacy on this public safety issue. State Senator Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan) has been a vocal proponent of ‘hands-free’ legislation throughout his legislative career.
“Today is a step towards better safety on our roads, fewer distractions for our drivers, and ultimately fewer injuries and deaths in our state,” said Senator Carlson. “I have met with too many families who have been affected by accidents that have been due to drivers distracted by their cell phones. I have long been focused on getting this work done, and it’s about time for Minnesota.”
While current law already bans emailing, texting and using a web browser while driving, this bill would require drivers to use their cell phones in a ‘hands-free’ mode only allowing voice activated commands or other actions that need one touch activation. The bill would enact the same enforcement and penalties for using a cell phone outside of ‘hands-free’ mode.
The legislation passed 56-10, and now enters a conference committee with the House.
About Jim Carlson
Jim Carlson is a state senator who represents Eagan and Burnsville. He is the Ranking Member of the State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee and a member of the following committees: Transportation Finance and Policy; Environment and Natural Resources Policy; and Legacy Finance. A high-resolution photo of Sen. Carlson is available for download here.