MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thursday night marks one week since a major new law went into effect for Minnesota drivers.

Since then, the State Patrol has caught at least 500 people breaking the new hands-free driving law. That’s not counting the 400 other agencies enforcing the rule across the state.

Overall, troopers say they are a bit frustrated. Over the past few months, they’ve blasted Minnesotans with information on using mounts and not holding your phone, but it seems some habits are hard to break.

It’s a law that’s been a long time coming. Families of distracted driving victims begged for the change. At last, it happened.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety launched three months of information campaigns. The law went into effect Aug. 1. Two hours later, troopers had their first violation.

We rode along with St. Paul police as they caught about 28 on day one. Since then, St. Paul officers have pulled over 150 drivers. Most got warnings, but their grace period is ending – meaning it’s hands-off for real.

Minneapolis police don’t have numbers yet, but they have been pulling over people, too. One man they pulled over was streaming an episode of “Blue Bloods,” a law enforcement show.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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