Hands Free Driving Laws Don't Work

A bipartisan coalition of legislators at the Capitol want to make it illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Minnesota unless a hands-fee device is employed. The House bill HF50currently has only Democrat authors, but is being supported by Republican leadership behind the scenes. It's companion bill in the Minnesota Senate is authored by GOP Senator Scott Newman.

Politicians are promoting this bill using emotional appeals to people who have lost loved ones in car accidents. But research suggests that hands free device legislation does not lead to lower automobile fatalities. According to the Safety Council, new research suggests that using "voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts by hand."

If the bill becomes law, violators could face a fine of $225 on a second offense. The bill labels an offense as someone who initiates a cell phone call, talks or listens on a cell phone or views or listens to video content while operating a motor vehicle. Imagine how much commercial and personal business is conducted safely every day using a cell phone in a vehicle. In August of this year, it could be a banned activity.

Action 4 Liberty believes this law limits personal freedom, while not achieving a desirable impact. We will score this vote on our scorecard this year.

Hands free not risk free
Provided by The
National Safety Council


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