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DPS: Nearly 10,000 hands-free citations given in first five months

KAAL-TV
Created: January 22, 2020 05:58 AM

(ABC 6 News) - The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says nearly 10,000 hands-free citations were given to drivers in the first five months of the law going into effect.

The hands-free law went into effect on August 1, 2019, and since then, "State Patrol troopers and law enforcement officers throughout Minnesota have seen an increasing number of drivers using hands-free options such as mounts. However, some drivers who have been stopped say they know about the new law but are having a hard time breaking the habit."

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Still, 9,727 citations were distributed. According to data from the DPS, the majority of drivers cited are between the ages of 30-49. The data also shows 83 drivers were cited in Olmsted County.

Now, the DPS is encouraging drivers to "Park the Phone" to 'recommit yourself to safe driving habits.'

The DPS highlights the importance of driving distracted free:

  • Distracted driving contributed to more than 60,000 (one in five) crashes from 2014 to 2018 (preliminary).
  • Distracted driving contributes to an average of 45 deaths and 204 life-changing injuries a year (2014-2018 preliminary).
  • Of the 9,727 hands-free citations from Aug 1. to Dec. 31: 
    • 3,518 were drivers 16-29-years-old.
    • 4,520 were drivers 30-49-years-old. 
    • 1,655 were drivers 50-75-years-old
    • One age was unknown. 


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