Senate approval sends hands-free cellphone legislation to Walz's desk

April 11, 2019 06:21 PM

The Minnesota Senate has also passed legislation that only allows hands-free use of devices while driving.

The vote Thursday was 48-12 in favor of the bill.


On Tuesday, the Minnesota House passed the legislation 107-19.

RELATED: House approval pushes hands-free cellphone legislation closer to becoming state law

The bill states that a person driving, whether "in motion or a part of traffic" is prohibited from using a wireless communications device unless "in a voice-activated or other hands-free mode." The final version dropped a provision that would have allowed for phones tucked under headware such as hijabs.

Minnesota lawmakers have debated the issue for years, and those in favor of only allowing hands-free devices say the measure will cut down on distracted driving.

Minnesota already bans texting, emailing and web browsing while driving. The law will carry a $50 fine for the first violation and $275 after that.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Tim Walz's office, and he is expected to sign the legislation on Friday. The law would take effect on Aug. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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