More than 5,000 cited for using cellphones while driving

More than 5,000 cited for using cellphones while driving Photo: KSTP-TV

Updated: October 24, 2019 11:36 AM

State officials say 5,046 citations have been issued to drivers in Minnesota since a hands-free law took affect in August.

The new law makes it illegal to use a cellphone while driving. As part of the law, officers don't have to determine what drivers are doing with their cellphones, just the fact they have it in their hands is a violation.


The law allows a driver to use voice commands or single-touch activation to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions.

A Department of Public Safety spokesman said there were 2,317 citations in August, when the law took effect, and 2,729 citations in September.

Minnesota became the 19th state with a hands-free law when it took effect Aug. 1. Fines are $120 for the first offense and $300 for each subsequent violation, plus court costs.

More information regarding the hands-free law can be found here

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the fines for the first offense are $50, and penalties for subsequent violations are $275. The story now reflects the correct costs of the penalties. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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