Can You Call 911 While Driving With Minnesota’s Hands-Free Law?
Here's a popular question you may not have an answer to: can you call 911 while driving even though Minnesota has its relatively new hands-free law?
I have actually wondered this myself and you may have had the same question as well. The Minnesota State Patrol answered this question for us all on their Twitter account this month, tweeting in part:
If you are holding the phone & talking on it while driving, you are doing it wrong. It’s illegal in MN unless you are calling 911.
There you have it! You can call 911 while driving if you are in an emergency situation or you witness an emergency situation.
This is a good reminder, as the hands-free law went into effect last year. Because a year has passed and we have been distracted by COVID-19, it's a good refresher for us all to brush up on what does and doesn't apply under the hands-free law.
The hands-free law also makes it illegal for you to pull over on the side of the road to use your cell phone. The Minnesota State Patrol encourages motorists to pull into a rest area or gas station if you do need to use your phone, as that is not illegal.
The hands-free law went into effect on August 1st of 2019. Since then, thousands of citations have been issued for motorists that have not complied with the new law. In fact, within the first month the law was in effect, over 2,000 motorists got pulled over and cited.
The pandemic isn't helping the cause, either. The Minnesota State Patrol has been dealing with an uptick in extreme speeding amid the pandemic. Let's all slow down and put our phones down!