If Governor Waltz signs the bill, all cell phone use behind the wheel will be banned unless it's hands-free.

A "hands-free phone bill" was passed Tuesday by the Minnesota House of Representatives, hashing out some differences a similar bill passed in the Senate last month. Should the Senate approve, the revised bill will go on to Governor Waltz for a final approval and signing.

The bill will ban all cell phone use -- for any reason -- behind the wheel unless it is completely hands-free. A first-time violation will result in a $50 fine; subsequent violations will cost $275 each.

Current laws already prohibit the use of cell phone while driving to send texts, use an app or browse the internet.

Bring Me the News notes that some elements of earlier bills were removed from the final bill, including exceptions that would have allowed cell phones to be held in head scarves, hijabs or other head wear -- provisions that were originally passed in the Senate's bill.

Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) has been a chief proponent of the bill, saying "With distracted driving fatalities continually on the rise, Minnesotans deserve common sense safety measures to combat these preventable tragedies.

"I’m glad we could pass this long overdue bill in a bipartisan fashion to help make our roadways safer for everyone."


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