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|Hands Free Fact Sheet|
We need to pass Hands Free now because…
What do HF50/SF91 do?
- To obtain emergency assistance.
- In the event of an immediate life or safety threat or danger.
- In an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of official duties.
What do HF50/SF91 not do?
Is hands free driving distraction free? No! Simply being involved in a conversation on the phone is distracting.
Hands free is safer than hands on; 12 of 15 states that have passed hands free have seen decreased fatalities. Hands free helps prevent physical interaction with a phone or app which has been a factor in fatalities in Minnesota.
Hands free does not address other forms of distraction like eating, grooming, pets, passengers or daydreaming. Drivers still need to pay attention and operate their vehicle responsibly regardless of how they are using their cell phones.
Can I use my cell phone while driving? Yes, in a hands free or one-touch activation mode.
Can I use my GPS? Yes, these bills allow the use of GPS and/or navigation systems.
Can I use my phone as a GPS? Yes, but only in a hands free or one-touch mode while not driving or as part of traffic.
Can I pick up and use my phone in an emergency? Yes.
Do these bills change the penalties? No. The current fines of $50, first ticket, $225, second and subsequent tickets plus court fees still apply.
Will this make the roads safer? Yes, in two ways.
a. Emerging data from federal and academic sources is showing reduced crashes and fatalities in states with hands free.
b. Enforcement of the law will be much simpler. If you have the phone in your hand while driving or in traffic, you are subject to enforcement. Enforcement and education must be linked to improve driving behavior.
How many states have hands‐free cell phone laws? 17 states and the District of Columbia.
Do hands‐free laws increase enforcement? Yes. New York and Georgia, for example, have
greatly increased enforcement.
Can I still use my CB radio? Yes. These bills do not change radio use requirements.