“ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol
Question: With the upcoming new hands free law that is effective August 1st, can a teen that is under 18 years old and has a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license use their phone in hands-free mode?
Answer: The new hands-free law does not change anything for teens under 18 with a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license: They cannot make or answer calls while driving (hand-held or hands-free). They can use their phone in hands-free mode in the following situations:
- Using their phone as a GPS device, but only in hands-free or voice-activated mode. They must set their destination before driving. They can’t hold their phone at any time.
- Listening to music or podcasts in hands-free or voice-activated mode is OK, but hand-held scrolling through playlists or channels is not allowed under the law.
Teens under 18 are allowed to use the phone in either hand-held or hands-free mode for emergency situations only.
Learn more about the law and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at HandsFreeMN.org. dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/hands-free/Pages/default.aspx
You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)