Sgt. Troy Christianson from the Minnesota State Patrol was just asked a question about pulling over to check your phone and his answer might surprise you.

The question, sent in from a Minnesota motorist: "Now that Minnesota’s hands-free law is in effect it seems there are numerous vehicles pulled over on the shoulder with the driver talking or texting on the phone. This seems unsafe. Is it legal and if not what is the recommended procedure upon receiving a call or text that needs a prompt response and hands-free options are not available?"

Sgt Christianson's answer: "Minnesota law does not allow motorists to stop on a roadway unless it is for an emergency. Instances like this prevent us from utilizing our resources as efficiently as possible because our dispatch center may receive numerous calls reporting an occupied stalled vehicle. A Trooper would then be sent to the reported location to either find someone talking on their phone or no longer at the site."

Christianson says citations have been issued for non-emergency stops. Instead of the shoulder drivers are encouraged to find a parking lot or legal parking zone before using their phone. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson - Troy.christianson@state.mn.us.

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