The Minnesota House has approved a bill that would require drivers to use hands-free devices when talking on the phone.

Chief House sponsor, Representative Frank Hornstein said, “The bottom line is, hang up and drive. Don’t use your phone. Two hands on the wheel. Concentrate. This is a privilege and so when you’re hurtling down the freeway at 60 miles an hour you’ve got to pay attention.”

“We know this bill saves lives,” he added, “In the 16 other states and the District of Columbia were this bill has been enacted there’s been a 16 percent drop in fatalities.”

A similar bill is working its way through the Senate with an exemption for GPS navigation systems. Hornstein said he’s confident the differences will get worked out in conference committee.

Minnesota House. House Speaker Melissa Hortman stated, “We’ve heard so many heart-wrenching stories from Minnesotans about family members they’ve lost because people are on their smartphones instead of focusing on the road.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distracted or inattentive driving was a contributing factor in one in five crashes from 2013-2017, resulting in an average of 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries each year.