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Text Messaging While Driving is Now Illegal in Minnesota

By August 5, 2008

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As of August 1, text messaging or reading emails on a cell phone while driving is illegal in Minnesota. It's a primary offense, which means that law enforcement can stop vehicles if they see drivers breaking the law. The penalty is a fine up to $300.

The aim of the new legislation is to make drivers to focus on the road, and not their cell. According to the Department of Public Safety, distracted drivers, including those making phone calls or texting, were involved in at least 15 percent of all fatal crashes from 2005 to 2007.

Here's a driver that almost became one of those statistics: in Cass County, 25-year-old driver was arrested on Sunday after driving at 80 mph in the wrong lane. He was arrested under suspicion of drinking and driving, but his excuse for driving in the wrong lane was that he was texting.

Elsewhere in the Midwest, Illinois lawmakers are attempting to bring in a $25 fine for texting while crossing the street, presumably to save people from being hit by cars while saying c u l8r.

The ban on texting while driving is the first cellphone/driving legislation to affect most Minnesotan drivers. Currently, talking on a cellphone while driving, while considered unsafe, isn't illegal in Minnesota, except for drivers under 18 who have a learner or provisional license.

Do you think that Minnesota should ban all cell phone use while driving? What about legislating texting while walking, or is that going too far?

August 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm
(1) William Miller says:

Seems to me this is just more government control. Kids became dumber when they became able to sue their parents for a broken finger nail. Whatís next? Ban kids? What about law enforcement who drive around with their nose in their laptops? Not to mention talking on the cell phone. Make laws for everyone or donít make it at all. Stop this crap and worry about other things! Like protecting our country from the crazies that want to kill us.
Irritated with this liberal crap!
William Miller

August 24, 2008 at 3:33 am
(2) Eric says:

I don’t know about other people but the only way this law affects me is that my chances of getting into an accident are exponentially greater. Before I would text w/o looking and then put the phone at eye-level so I could glance to see if it was right, while still looking ahead of me. Now, I keep the phone out of eye-sight in fear of getting pulled over and when I went to check something I have to look down, taking my eyes completely off the road.

August 25, 2008 at 11:08 pm
(3) Griever says:

I’m appalled at the comments-this is a very good law, both of my parents were killed in a car accident because someone chose to text message and lost control of her car and hit and killed both of them head on for her lack of responsibility.

September 25, 2008 at 3:24 pm
(4) Chris says:

Any non-handsfree cell phone usage whilst the vehicle is moving should be prohibited for ALL drivers. There should be no exceptions for public safety workers.

July 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm
(5) Julie says:

I agree with what “griever said” It is very unsafe, people don’t realize how dangerous it is until one of their loved ones is hurt by it!! I bring up that is illegal & how much the fine is every chance I get

April 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm
(6) vince says:

Driving a car is a priviledge that many people take for granted. Doing anything other than focusing on driving while driving is irresponsible. Do the right thing.

October 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm
(7) garrison. says:

To use your phone safely while driving: find nearest parking lot (rest area, Perkins, gas station, random driveway), place car in park, use phone. Another option, indeed, is to shut the phone off while on the road. Try to recall the days when “honey, I am going to leave the office now. Do we need milk” was said on the phone. It was perfectly functional, yes?!

December 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(8) Mike says:

Sorry for being forward, but Mr. Miller, you are one of the reasons that we have this “Civil War” in this country between the conservative people and the liberal people.

This law has nothing to do with liberals bringing you down. It has to do with public safety. If you can’t see that, then you are truly an idiot! It is my guess that you blame EVERYTHING that happens to you on a liberal whether you caused it or not. it is my guess that you hang out with a bunch of assholes that are willing to bash liberals in a group, like bullies, but would NEVER chose to engage in an educated discussion on a topic or listen to an opposing view.

Mike Johnson! Liberal and proud of it! I love my country too.

October 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm
(9) KIDZRKUL says:

Kids have way too much electronic distractions today. Put away things that distract you….add more peace and quiet to your lives.

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