Minnesota governor to sign bill requiring drivers to use hands-free phones

Gov. Tim Walz is about to sign into law a bill that will require Minnesota motorists to use hands-free devices when they’re driving while phoning.

The bill cleared its final legislative hurdle Thursday when the Senate approved compromise language 48-12. The final version dropped a provision that would have allowed for phones tucked under headware such as hijabs.

The signing ceremony is set for Friday. The law will take effect Aug. 1.

Sponsors say the experience of 16 other states and the District of Columbia with similar distracted-driving laws shows they save lives.

Minnesota already bans texting, emailing and web browsing while driving. The law will carry a $50 fine for the first violation and $275 after that.

Lawmakers are considering separate legislation to increase penalties for texting while driving.

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