Hands Free- What’s OK and What Isn’t
As of August 1, Minnesota goes hands free while driving a vehicle. But what exactly does that mean? Well, there are some things that are ok when using your phone while driving.
"Can I use my phone as a GPS? The answer is you can, as long as you're using it in hands-free mode," Head of MN State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said. "Entering the address before you leave is preferred."
If you need to change the address while you're driving, you can, as long as you use voice recognition.
"So you may have to touch your phone once to get it to wake up, you may have to touch it again to speak that voice command," Col. Langer said. "That's legal, using single-touch activation. Which is different than touching the phone only once."
You can also use your phone with a head set or ear buds as long as one ear is free. And there are a couple of other technicalities:
You can also use a headband, a head scarf, hijab to hold your phone in place to talk on the phone, as long as the piece of clothing is not obscuring your view.
And then the question comes up regarding smart watches. Can you check those? The answer is yes, you can. You can check the time, and any text message that comes in. You just cannot answer the text unless you pull over, and then text your answer.
We'll see what happens when we get to August 1st, but it's probably a good habit to get into now... before the law actually goes into effect.