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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 50

1st Division Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/21/2019 01:16pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to transportation; prohibiting use of cell phones while driving under
specified circumstances; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 169.011,
subdivision 94; 169.475.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 169.011, subdivision 94, is amended to read:

Subd. 94.

Wireless communications device.

"Wireless communications device" means
(1) a cellular phone, or (2) a portable electronic device that is capable of receiving and
transmitting data, including but not limited to text messages and e-mail, without an access
line for service. A wireless communications device does not include a devicenew text begin or featurenew text end that
is permanently deleted text beginaffixed todeleted text endnew text begin physically integrated intonew text end the vehicle, deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin includingnew text end a global
positioning system or navigation system deleted text beginwhen the system is used exclusively for navigation
deleted text end.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 169.475, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

deleted text beginDefinitiondeleted text endnew text begin Definitionsnew text end.

new text begin(a) new text endFor purposes of this section,new text begin the following
terms have the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b)new text end "Electronic message" means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is
designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. An electronic message
includes, but is not limited todeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin:new text end e-maildeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text end a text messagedeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text end an instant messagedeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text end a command or
request to access a deleted text beginWorld Widedeleted text end web pagedeleted text begin, ordeleted text endnew text begin; a voice mail message; a transmitted image;
transmitted audio content; transmitted video content, including through video calling; and
new text end
other data deleted text beginthat usesdeleted text endnew text begin transmitted usingnew text end a commonly recognized electronic communications
protocol. An electronic message does not includenew text begin:new text end voice or deleted text beginotherdeleted text endnew text begin audionew text end data transmitted as
a result of making a phone call,new text begin data transmitted between a motor vehicle and a wireless
communications device located in the vehicle,
new text end or data transmitted automatically deleted text beginby a wireless
communications device
deleted text end without direct initiation by a person.

new text begin (c) "Voice-activated or hands-free mode" means an attachment, an accessory, a wirelessly
paired or tethered capability, or a built-in capability of a wireless communications device
or a motor vehicle that allows a person to use a feature or software application without either
hand, except for one touch activation or deactivation of the feature or software application.
A feature or software application includes but is not limited to text messaging and phone
new text end

new text begin (d) For purposes of this section, a motor vehicle is not in motion or a part of traffic if
the vehicle is lawfully stopped, is in a location that is not designed or ordinarily used for
vehicular travel, and is not obstructing traffic.
new text end

new text begin (e) For purposes of subdivision 2, paragraph (a), "using" includes but is not limited to
holding a wireless communications device.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Prohibition on use; penalty.

(a) deleted text beginNodeleted text endnew text begin When a motor vehicle is in motion or a
part of traffic, the
new text end person deleted text beginmay operate a motordeleted text endnew text begin operating thenew text end vehicle deleted text beginwhiledeleted text endnew text begin is prohibited
new text end using a wireless communications devicenew text begin, which includes but is not limitednew text end tonew text begin:
new text end

deleted text begin compose, read, or senddeleted text end new text begin(1) initiating, composing, sending, retrieving, or readingnew text end an
electronic messagedeleted text begin, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of trafficdeleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (2) engaging in a cellular phone call, including initiating a call, talking or listening, and
participating in video calling
new text end.

(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) a second or subsequent time must pay a fine of
$225, plus the amount specified in the uniform fine schedule established by the Judicial

Subd. 3.


new text begin(a) new text endThis section does not apply if a wireless communications device
is used:

(1) solely in a voice-activated or deleted text beginotherdeleted text end hands-free modenew text begin, including to access a global
positioning system or navigation system
new text end;

(2) deleted text beginfor making a cellular phone call;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) for obtainingdeleted text endnew text begin to obtainnew text end emergency assistance to (i) report a traffic accident, medical
emergency, or serious traffic hazard, or (ii) prevent a crime about to be committed;

deleted text begin (4)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end in the reasonable belief that a person's life or safety is in immediate danger; or

deleted text begin (5)deleted text endnew text begin (4)new text end in an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of official duties.

new text begin (b) The exception in paragraph (a), clause (1), does not apply to accessing nonnavigation
video content, engaging in video calling, engaging in live-streaming, or reading electronic
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to acts
committed on or after that date.
new text end