Remember- New Laws Begin August 1 (Tomorrow)
Tomorrow, August 1st begins some new laws in Minnesota. The two biggest ones being the hands free while driving law, and also the "slow-poke" law. Violations of these laws come with some hefty fines, too. At first glance, the first offense seems to not be that big of a deal until you add in the court fees, then it becomes quite a bit more. I'm not sure why they don't just add that in immediately so you know exactly what the fee is, but whatever.
If there is any confusion on what exactly is and isn't ok, here is another run down on the hands free law:
- Breaking the law is a primary offense. If an officer sees a driver violating the law, the driver can be stopped for a ticket or warning.
- The penalty for the first hands-free violation is $50, in addition to court fees adding up to a $130 total.
- Tickets after the first ticket are $275, plus court fees.
- Hand-held use is OK if there is an immediate threat to safety and the driver has to get a hold of emergency assistance.
- Cell phones can be tucked into head scarves/head wraps, but cannot be removed from the wrap while driving.
- The law also applies to watches, tablets, e-readers, and other similar devices.
- Drivers may not video call, live stream video, use Snapchat, game or watch videos or photos stored on the phone, use non-navigation apps, read texts or scroll or type on the phone.
- GPS and navigation systems are OK, the Department of Public Safety says, because the systems lock when the vehicle moves.
- Listening to music is OK, but scrolling through playlists or channels is not.
So, there you have it... my personal feeling is that this might be hard to enforce in some instances. But we will see how this goes. But trying to enforce non-distracted driving is a win in my opinion.
The other big law that is going into affect is the "slow-poke" law. If someone is right behind you in the left lane, move over so that they can pass. It's not giving the ok to speed and ignore the other rules of the road, but you can't be the guy at the front of the line that is holding up a bunch of people. If that happens, you will be ticketed. So, basically, pay attention to the people behind you.... and keep in mind, it's not YOUR job to make sure that others are not speeding on the road.
So,the theme of these is to make sure you remain vigilant while driving.