ST. PAUL, MINN – Sen. Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan) joined his bipartisan House authors this week to announce a new bill that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving except for the use of a hands free device. According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, each year in Minnesota, distracted or inattentive driving is a factor in one in four crashes, resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries. Sen. Carlson says he chief authored this bill to promote safer driving habits and reduce avoidable injuries and deaths.
“At some point, every single person has witnessed a distracted driver on the road. This bill is an acknowledgement that we all need to take more responsibility for the safety of ourselves and others when we are behind the wheel. Minnesota will join fourteen other states and the District of Columbia in banning hand-held cellphone use while driving. It’s time to hang up and drive, that’s our responsibility on the road,” said Sen. Carlson.
Minnesota is already one of 46 states to ban texting while driving. Devices that are exclusively for navigational purposes will be exempt from the hands free ban as are first responders and someone contacting emergency assistance.