Publish date:

'Hands free' phone bill expected to be signed by Gov. Walz this week

A compromise bill passed the Minnesota House on Tuesday.

Minnesota is on its way to banning all cellphone use behind the wheel unless it's hands-free after a bill passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The House agreed to a bill having hashed out some differences with a similar bill passed in the Minnesota Senate last month.

The bill passed by a vote of 107-19, and now just needs the Senate to pass the same bill before it heads to the Governor's Office to be signed by Gov. Tim Walz.

It will mean that the use of a cellphone to make a call while driving will be punishable with a traffic ticket that will start at $50 for a first-time violation – and subsequent violations $275 – unless the phone is being used hands-free.

There are already laws in place prohibiting the use of cellphones to send a text, use an app or browse the internet behind the wheel.

Some elements of earlier bills were removed from the final bill – including the provision that would have allowed people to hold their phones in their head scarves, hijabs or other headwear while driving, which had been passed in the Senate's version of the bill.

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest stories

Also taken out was a House-passed provision that would have led to a traffic stop demographics study.

Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), who was the chief author of the bill, said: "With distracted driving fatalities continually on the rise, Minnesotans deserve common sense safety measures to combat these preventable tragedies.

"I’m glad we could pass this long overdue bill in a bipartisan fashion to help make our roadways safer for everyone."

Next Up

Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan continues his dominant September

The right-hander struck out 11 batters in a victory over the Cubs.

Mounds view 9 - crime scene

Man who allegedly shot at police dies after being struck by squad vehicle

The unidentified individual fired shots at police following an alleged domestic disturbance, police say.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns reacts to Gersson Rosas firing: 'WTF'

The Timberwolves star was just as surprised as everyone else

Mounds View shooting incident 1 - county sheriff - crop

Deputy uses squad car to ram armed assault suspect, sheriff's office says

The man had fired multiple shots at officers, striking two of their vehicles, authorities said.

Daniel Carlson

Ex-Viking Daniel Carlson has become one of the NFL's best kickers

Carlson has been automatic since joining the Raiders.

Dustin Sundin crop

'Vulnerable' adult missing after leaving with family member's dog, phone

Authorities found footprints in a creek bed, but haven't been able to locate the man.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

Police 'use of force' incident reported in Mounds View

The Minnesota BCA is investigating, with more details expected soon.

vaccine, covid

The 8 Minnesota counties still below a 50% vaccination rate

Fewer than half of all vaccine-eligible individuals in these areas have received at least one shot.

Dave Simonett Trampled by Turtles

Trampled By Turtles singer responds to complaints about concert vax requirements

Some of TBT's recent appearances have required proof of vaccine/negative test.

BMTN - Target drive up bag booze

The 5 cent charge for carryout bags is coming back in Minneapolis

The ordinance was suspended at the start of the pandemic.


Talking on the phone while driving could be banned in MN

A bill to limit cellphone use at the wheel to hands-free devices has taken the first step.


Gov. Walz signs 'hands free' cellphone bill into law

Fines for violating the law could cost drivers up to $275.


Hands-free phone requirement for MN drivers is nearing reality

The Senate passed a bill requiring hands-free cellphone use.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 12.39.25 PM

Citations aplenty on first day of hands-free law in MN

One guy was caught texting about the hands-free law.

Lawmakers pass $200M emergency coronavirus funding bill

The bill passed the House and Senate in the early hours of Tuesday.


House, Senate disagree on policing bills with time running out in Special Session

House leaders say the Senate's bills don't do enough to enact systemic change.