The Republican-led Minnesota Senate yesterday passed a bill (HF 50) to ban cell phone use in vehicles without a hands-free device. This bill previously passed overwhelmingly in the Minnesota House. The bill aims to solve the problem of distracted driving according to its authors. But main opposition to the hands-free bill asserts that distracted driving is already illegal and that the bill would not solve the underlying problem.
An interesting amendment authored by Bobby Joe Champion (DFL – Minneapolis) added language that provided an additional exception to using a phone while driving a vehicle. According to the amendment “the use of a scarf or hijab or other items of clothing to hold a device in a hands-free manner” is allowed under the new law.
Here’s the vote for the amendment:
Here’s the vote for the entire bill (which included the above amendment):