A new Minnesota law that bans hand-held cell phone use while driving takes effect August 1.
The law requires that drivers use a hands-free device or voice commands to make phone calls or send text messages. Typing and scrolling on devices is not allowed.
Drivers will still be allowed to view or operate a GPS and listen to audio content as long as they’re not scrolling, typing or holding the device in their hands.
The law also allows for exceptions in the event that drivers are using their phones to:
- Obtain emergency assistance or report emergencies, hazards or crimes
- Report that a person’s life or safety is in danger
Drivers in authorized emergency vehicles are exempt from the law while performing official duties.
Remind clients about cell phone policies
No matter what state you’re in, now is a good time to remind your clients of the importance of having cell phone policies for their employees.
We recommend tougher cell phone policies than what the new law requires, and suggest employers ban all cell phone use while driving, even if hands-free devices are available. This is because talking on a cell phone or utilizing voice commands can still pose a dangerous cognitive distraction.