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Bill Would Prohibit Making Calls While Driving in Minnesota

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It's already illegal to text-and-drive in Minnesota, and if a new proposal becomes the law, it could soon be illegal to make calls while you're behind the wheel as well.

"I'm a sales rep, so I drive hundreds of miles a week, and in my opinion, I think this bill is...ridiculous," said Dan O'Brien, a Minnesota resident.
 
The proposal was introduced in the State House by DFL Representative Linda Slocum of Richfield. She didn't return our call today seeking comment on the bill.
 
"I think it would definitely keep everyone safer in general...keep drivers more attentive and focus on what they're doing," said Joseph Cronk, a Mankato resident.
 
If the proposal were to pass, here's what this legislation would entail: you would still be able to use a cell phone to make a call in the event of an emergency, otherwise you would need to resort to using a hands-free system in your vehicle.
 
" It's definitely over-kill," said O'Brien. "As long as we enforce the rules of the road that we already have in place, I feel it would solve the problem. There is no need for further legislation just to combat drivers, who are already poor drivers to begin with."

But other drivers say not being able to talk on the phone behind the wheel is a smart move.
 
"I think it's definitely a good idea, especially like living in Minnesota...roads really take your like full attention, said Cronk.
 
When asked today, the Minnesota State Patrol is remaining politically neutral on the proposed legislation.
 
"And with any new law, the first year or two of the data are really the telling piece if it is effective piece of traffic safety and if it is indeed reducing crashes," said Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha of the Minnesota State Patrol.
 
The bill has been referred to the Transportation Policy Committee.

Under the plan, making a call while driving would result in a fine of $100 for the first offense.