Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
Minnesota Senate Bldg.
95 University Avenue W. Suite 3300
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4791
Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 837 - Prohibiting Cell Phone Use While Driving (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Jim Carlson
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: April 11, 2017


Section 1. Wireless communications device.  Defines "wireless communications device."  A GPS or navigation system that is permanently or physically integrated into the vehicle is not considered a wireless communications device.

Sec. 2. Use of Wireless Communications Device.

Subdivision 1. Definition.  Defines "electronic message," "voice-activated or hands-free mode," and when a vehicle is not considered to be in motion or a part of traffic.

Subd. 2. Prohibition on use; penalty. Prohibits a person driving a vehicle from using: 1) a wireless communications device to initiate, compose, read, or send an electronic message; or 2) a cell phone to make or participate in a phone call. A person driving a vehicle is prohibted from watching video on a wireless device, except a person may view a GPS or navigation system.

Subd. 3. Exceptions. The prohibitions in subdivision 2 don’t apply if the wireless communications device is used in a voice-activated or hands-free mode or for emergencies. This section does not apply to devices that function solely as a GPS or navigation system, or to use of a cell phone that is temporarily affixed to the vehicle to listen to audio-based content.


Check on the status of this bill
Back to Senate Counsel and Research Bill Summaries page

This page is maintained by the Office of Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis for the Minnesota Senate.
Last review or update: 04/11/2017
If you see any errors on this page, please e-mail us at