DISTRACTED DRIVING IN MINNESOTA


As of August 1, 2019, distracted driving laws in Minnesota have been revised, toughened and the penalties have been enhanced to reduce accidents and injuries.

Every year, one in every four car crashes is a result of driving distractions, such as cell phone use or various other activities that are not related to the operation of a motor vehicle. These actions result in an average of 70 fatalities and 350 serious injuries on a yearly basis.

Minnesota has passed texting and driving laws in order to discourage motorists from indulging in behaviors that may cause them to drive poorly and become hazards on the roadways. The laws goal is to reduce the number of accidents caused by such actions.

Texting and Driving Laws in Minnesota

Texting while driving is banned for all Minnesota drivers. Thus, it is illegal for any driver, regardless of age or experience level, to engage in any activity where communications of any kind are being exchanged through electronic devices.

These include social media posts, emails and text messages. Only electronic devices that are integrated into the car may be used in accordance with Minnesota law. Officers do not need to have any other reason to pull you over before issuing a citation.

Exceptions to the distracted driving law include:
  • Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency or serious road hazard
  • Calling for help if you believe that you are in imminent danger
  • Reporting a crime that involves another person
  • Using a navigation system that is integrated into the vehicle


Distracted Driving Penalties in Minnesota

The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees. Courts may impose additional costs on top of the fines issued by law enforcement agencies. Additionally, these offenses may be entered on your driver’s record which could impact your insurance rates.

Distracted Driving Penalties in Minnesota

There are many ways to prevent texting and driving:
  • Pull over and rest when you find yourself feeling fatigue while driving. Motorists who operate a car when tired are four times more likely to get into an accident.
  • Cut down on the number of passengers who accompany you in a car. Having too many individuals inside your car can greatly increase your level of distraction.
  • Eating while driving is another major distraction.
  • Attempting to multi-task. By not attempting to do things such as talking on the phone, texting, eating can greatly reduce your distractions. Thus, avoiding these activities can give you a better chance of remaining safe for yourself and others.


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