What you need to know about the new Minnesota driving laws

Local News

MINNESOTA (KELO) – Starting Thursday, drivers in Minnesota will have two new laws to abide by.

This past Spring, Minnesota lawmakers approved two driving bills that will take effect starting Thursday.

One is the hands-free law and the other is the left-lane ‘slowpoke’ law that is meant to keep traffic moving steadily.

If you’re caught driving too slow in the left lane, you could get a fine under Minnesota’s new left-lane ‘slowpoke’ law.

“It brings the traffic down, you know, not as much congestion or people driving in the left lane when you don’t need to be. So I think that’s all good,” Beaver Creek resident Josh Teune said.

Drivers traveling below the speed limit in the left lane could get a ticket for at least $100.

Another law taking affect Thursday in Minnesota is the hands-free law. This means you cannot hold your phone while driving.

“It’s a law to not hinder us, but to detour us so that we can save our own lives. So often people get in these accidents for just a split second for looking down at their phone,” Luverne resident Kristi Franken said.

Options you have for going hands-free while driving include using a single earphone with a microphone while still being hands-free, bluetooth, auxillary cables, or simply putting your phone away while behind the wheel.

“I think it’s a great thing to have better distracted drivers, you know, that they’re not distracted and that they’re not on their cell phones. You see a lot of people that are texting that get into accidents and I think it’s got to be better than what we currently have,” Teune said.

The law still allows drivers to use cell phones to make calls, listen to music, text and get directions, but only by using voice commands or single-touch activation.

Violators could receive a $50 ticket for their first offense and a fine of $275 for additional offenses.

For more information about the hands-free law, you can view the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety’s fact sheet and the video from when the bill was signed by Gov. Tim Walz.

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