Advocates say the battle isn’t over, even though a hands-free cell phone law is now is effect for Minnesota drivers. Thomas Goeltz, who lost his daughter to a distracted driver in a crash near Stillwater, says, “We tried to get a penalties bill passed this legislative session and that failed in committee, so we’ll be back pushing for that next year.”
Goeltz says advocates wanted a total ban on cell phone using while driving, but they’ll take what they can get. “Happy that we’re gonna save 15 percent of drivers on distraction-related crashes,” he says, “but we could have got a hundred percent.”
Advocates acknowledge it’s politically difficult to pass a total ban. They say self-driving vehicles could reduce risks in the not-too-distant future.