“ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol

Question: The new hands-free law does that apply to tractors, lawnmowers and UTVs?

Answer:   The hands-free law applies to all motor vehicles. A Motor vehicle would include tractors and lawnmowers on a street or highway. The hands free law would not apply if someone was in a ditch or on private property. The UTV is not considered a motor vehicle, so they are not allowed on any state or federal roadway no matter how they are licensed. UTVs are allowed on certain county and township roads if licensed properly. In that case, the hands-free law would apply.

In 12 out of 15 states with hands-free laws, traffic fatalities have decreased by an average of 15 percent. This law will protect motorists on Minnesota roads by reducing the distractions for drivers.

The first ticket for violation of the new law is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees.

For more information go to HandsFreeMN.org.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, [email protected])