Question: With the upcoming new hands free law that is effective August 1, can a teen that is under 18 years old and has a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license use their phone in hands-free mode?

Answer: The new hands-free law does not change anything for teens under 18 with a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license: they cannot make or answer calls while driving (handheld or hands-free). They can use their phone in hands-free mode in the following situations:

• Using their phone as a GPS device, but only in hands-free or voice-activated mode. They must set their destination before driving. They can’t hold their phone at any time.

• Listening to music or podcasts in hands-free or voice-activated mode is OK, but handheld scrolling through playlists or channels is not allowed under the law.

Teens under 18 are allowed to use the phone in either handheld or hands-free mode for emergency situations only.

Learn more about the law and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at HandsFreeMN.org. dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/hands-free/Pages/default.aspx.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota, please send your questions to: Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave, Duluth, MN 55811 or reach him by e-mail at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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