New Minnesota law requires drivers to use hands-free phones

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A reminder to Minnesota motorists – keep your hands off your cellphone while driving.

A new state law takes effect Thursday banning drivers from talking on the phone unless they are using a hands-free device. Officials say the law is aimed at cracking down on distracted driving and saving lives.

A first offense will cost $130. The fine jumps to over $300 for subsequent violations.

Drivers can still operate a cellphone by voice commands or single-touch activation as long as they’re not holding the phone.

Gov. Tim Walz and state safety officials have been reminding drivers it’s time to put down the phone. Minnesota already bans texting and emailing while driving.

The Public Safety Department has posted tips at HandsFreeMN.org.

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