Alexandria Police Department Answers Questions On “Hands-Free” Law

The Alexandria Police Department has received a lot of questions about the new “hands-free” cell phone law going into effect August 1st.

Here are a few important facts about the new law you need to know:

 -You may not hold a phone in your hand.

 -The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single touch activation without holding the phone. A driver may not use their phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos from the internet or stored on the phone, using apps, reading texts or scrolling or typing on the phone.

 -In an emergency, you can hold a phone to call 911.

- There is no official grace period for drivers; the law is the law starting Aug. 1, and drivers should never assume they’ll get a free pass at any time.

 -The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees.

For more information, visit HandsFreeMN.org.   Alexandria Police Chief Richard Wyffels says to  remember, hands-free is not distraction-free and not using your phone at all while driving is the safest option. Any task that takes your attention away from the road can wait!