Minnesota Residents Divided on Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill

March 12, 2018 07:29 PM

(ABC 6 News) - There are two bills at the Capitol, aiming to pass a new hands-free law for Minnesotans who want to talk on the phone while driving.
However, it's causing mixed reactions from local community members. 
Net Youk, who lives in Rochester, says he is for the law passing, "because on the road, a little mistake can kill you and kill other people and cause a lot of traffic jams. I think it would be beneficial for everyone."
Right now it is against the law to text or use the internet on your phone while driving. 
But the new law being proposed would require drivers to use Bluetooth or a single earbud if they want to talk on the phone. 
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson says it’s something they are also pushing for. 
"We did see an increase in distracted driving citations, so that means that more people are on their phones or distracted while they're driving and they're being cited for it,” said Christianson. 
The state patrol says it recently found distractive driving caused one in four fatal crashes. 
However, some people like Jenna Wileman, are concerned it will be hard to enforce a hands-free law. 
"I mean people still text and drive and I see it all the time. People don't follow that law so,” said Wileman. 
But state patrol says it could actually make it easier on them if the bills pass. 
"It'd be easier for law enforcement to enforce if a cellphone is in somebody's hand. Then it'd be a violation of the law. So it'd be easier for law enforcement to enforce this type of hands-free bill,” said Christianson. 
Although some believe it gives law enforcement too much control, others say it's to keep us all safe. 
"For this particular law, I think the government is trying to protect the people and its citizens so I think they are fine for this part,” said Youk. 
The legislation has bipartisan support. 
Albert Lea Representative Peggy Bennett and Rochester Democrat Tina Liebling signed on as co-authors.



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