SAINT PAUL, Minn.,
13
August
2019
|
12:39 AM
America/Chicago

Go Hands-Free, or You’ll Pay if Caught

Cell phone use while driving now more costly in Minnesota.

Keep your hands off your cellphone while driving. As of Aug. 1, you’ll face a $50 fine if you’re caught holding your phone while driving in Minnesota. That’s for the first offense, it goes up to $275 for later offences. Court fees are also added in both instances.

The fine, while hefty, is nothing compared to the anguish distracted driving causes.

On Oct. 28, 2015, Joe Tikalsky was retrieving his newspaper from the road outside his home. A texting driver struck and killed the popular New Prague school bus driver.

Today his family advocates for distracted driving awareness.

Burying a loved one as a result of a preventable act is inconceivable to many. The Tikalskys’ hope Minnesota’s Hands-Free law keeps other families from experiencing their grief.

“Don’t be the person who decides someone else’s fate,” says Joe's daughter-in-law Tammi Tikalsky.

Unfortunately, the Tikalskys are not alone.

A 2018 Minnesota State Patrol report found distracted driving contributed to 1 in 4 Minnesota crashes. That's an average of 59 deaths and 223 serious injuries per year.

Minnesota is the 17th state to prohibit a person from holding a wireless device while driving.

Don’t be a distracted driver.

Distractions cause you to lose focus on safely operating your vehicle. Manual, visual or cognitive distractions are even causing many to drive dumber in their smart cars.

Texting, is among the worst of all driver distractions. Activities like reading a text message, taking a selfie or updating social media while driving are illegal and dangerous. Avoid the temptation by keeping your phone out of reach while driving. Pull over and park in a safe location if you must use your phone. Or, ask a passenger to make a call or send a text for you.

Currently, 48 states and D.C. ban text messaging for all drivers. State Farm continues to advocate for automobile and highway safety legislation at the state and federal level.

Still fighting the urge to pick up your phone while driving?

Apps like State Farm Drive Safe & Save can help improve your driving habits. To learn more about the new law and ways your can qualify for policy discounts, contact your local State Farm agent.

 

About State Farm®:

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and approximately 58,000 employees serve approximately 83 million policies and accounts – approximately 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies and approximately 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.