In Minnesota, all motorists are prohibited from texting while driving. This prohibition includes accessing the Internet or other data on wireless devices. And, starting August 1, 2019, talking on a cellphone will also be banned for all drivers.
According to Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety, distracted or inattentive driving is a factor in one in four crashes in Minnesota, resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries per year.
Minnesota's cellphone law prohibits all motorist from using a cellphone while driving unless in voice-activated or hands-free mode. Minnesota also has more specific laws that ban school bus drivers from personal cellphone use and motorists under age 18 from all cellphone use (whether handheld or hands-free).
Penalties. Generally, a cellphone ticket is a petty misdemeanor. A first violation results in a $50 base fine (around $135 with surcharges). The base fine is increased to $275 for subsequent violations (about $360 with surcharges included).
For school bus drivers, a cellphone violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 in fines. And a conviction results in the immediate revocation of the driver's privileges to drive a school bus.
For motorists under the age of 18, a cellphone violation is a petty misdemeanor. The base fine is $50 but, with the added surcharges, the total cost of the ticket is closer to $135. Two or more violations can also delay the issuance of a full driver's license. (Read about Minnesota's graduated license system for teen drivers.)
Keep in mind that even when motorists are allowed to use a cellphone, it's still a misdemeanor to drive carelessly in disregard for others' safety.
All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, which includes accessing the Internet or other data on a device. This prohibition applies when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic (for example, sitting at a stoplight). However, the ban doesn't restrict using a device solely in a voice-activated or other hands-free modes.
Penalties. It's a petty misdemeanor offense to text and drive. A first violation results in a $50 base fine (around $135 with surcharges). The base fine is increased to $275 for subsequent violations (about $360 with surcharges included).
Minnesota's distracted driving laws don't apply to emergency vehicle personnel or when a driver uses a device to seek emergency assistance.