On the second day of Minnesota’s new law requiring that behind-the-wheel cellphone use be hands-free, the State Patrol reminded drivers that it will now be regularly pulling over violators.
On Thursday, Minnesota became the 19th state with a hands-free law. In the first 36 hours of the new law, state troopers stopped 162 drivers, said Bruce Gordon, communications director of the state Department of Public Safety.
“Our hope is that all drivers comply with the new law and understand that they can no longer have a phone in their hands while driving,” Gordon said in a statement.
Drivers caught with their cellphones face tickets with a $50 fine for a first offense, and a $275 fine for each following violation, in addition to any court costs.
State troopers will continue to report their traffic stop findings in the wake of the new law’s rollout, according to a tweet from the Minnesota State Patrol.
The patrol’s number included only those drivers stopped by state troopers. Some city police departments also released their stop numbers. St. Paul police said its officers stopped 28 people on Thursday.