Minnesota defines distracted driving as anything that distracts the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of an accident. Distracted driving is a factor in one out of every four car accidents. This causes 350 serious injuries and 70 deaths each year in the state of Minnesota.

Drivers who hold a learner’s permit or a provisional license are not allowed to use a cell phone at all. Texting and driving is illegal for drivers of all ages and all licensure statuses. If you have a regular license, you are free to make phone calls from your handheld or hands free device.

Laws

  • Drivers with a learner’s permit or provisional license are not allowed to use a cell phone. This includes handheld and hands free devices
  • Drivers who have a regular license are allowed to make phone calls
  • Texting and driving is illegal for drivers of all ages and licensure status

Exceptions

  • The cell phone is in hands free or voice activated mode and is used to compose and send a message or make a phone call
  • Emergency situations
  • You are working on an authorized emergency vehicle

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal in the State of Minnesota. It is prohibited to send any electronic message, including instant message, text message, e-mail, or a command to access the Internet. Furthermore, the law does not allow a wireless communication device to send, read, or compose an electronic message while the vehicle is in motion. If the cell phone is in hands free mode or is voice activated, you are free to send a message so long as you use this feature. Another exception is when calling for help or if you are in an authorized emergency vehicle and performing official duties.

If you are caught violating any of the laws above, you may be pulled over by a police officer. The officer does not need to see you commit any other violations. If you are caught texting and driving, there is a fine of up to $300.

Texting and driving is illegal in the State of Minnesota. However, if you have a regular driver’s license, you are free to make phone calls as you are going down the road. Keep these laws in mind when driving so as to stay safe and avoid hefty fines.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Minnesota and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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