New bill will stop handheld cellphone use in Minnesotan vehicles
Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by many different actions, but one, using a cellphone while driving, is particularly dangerous. The Minnesota House of Representatives is addressing this problem by advancing a bill that will ban holding a cellphone while behind the wheel.
The ban was previously unsuccessful, but with some amendments, it was approved by the House by 106 to 21. The governor has stated that he will be willing to sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk.
Isn’t texting and driving already illegal in Minnesota?
Texting and driving is illegal in Minnesota under the current laws. However, those who are found guilty of the violation only face a petty misdemeanor and a meager fine of $50 on the first offense. Officers have had difficulty enforcing the law due to drivers claiming they weren’t texting but were handling their phones for other reasons.
The new bill will set petty misdemeanor charges and the fine against any drivers guilty of using their phones behind the wheel without using one-touch settings or a hands-free device. The only exemption would be if the driver was making an emergency call.
Citations for texting and driving have been increasing in Minnesota. They went up by approximately 30 percent between 2017 and 2018, showing the importance of penalizing these citations and holding drivers accountable.
If you’re hit by a driver who is distracted, you are suffering from their mistake. It’s your right to look into your options to make a claim against them and to hold them liable for the injuries they caused.