EVENT: Hearing on HF1180 hands-free cell phone use bill
WHEN: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 10:15 a.m.
WHERE: State Office Building Room 10

Hearing set for March 13 on hands-free cell phone use legislation

Advocates, including the son of a victim, are among those slated to speak in support during a March 13 legislative hearing on a bill limiting use of cell phones while driving to voice-activated or other hands-free modes. The hearing before the Minnesota House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. that day.

Among those scheduled to testify in favor of the bipartisan bill are its authors, who include representatives Mark Uglem (R-Champlin), Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) and Jim Newberger (R-Becker); Greg Tikalsky, whose father was killed by a driver using a cell phone; Minnesota State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer, Insurance Federation of Minnesota President Bob Johnson, and the Minnesota Safety Council’s Traffic Safety Programs Manager Lisa Kons.

Distracted driving crashes and fatalities are on the increase – up 18 percent between 2014-15 – with cell phone use while driving a major factor. Today, one in four crashes and one in five traffic fatalities involve distracted driving. Distracted driving is now the fourth most common contributing factor in traffic fatalities behind speed, impairment and fatigue.

Proponents say the House bill and a similar measure before the Minnesota Senate would simplify enforcement of the law. Surveys show 80 percent of Minnesotans favor restrictions on cell phone use.

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