MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Department of Public Safety officials say officers cited 678 drivers across the state during the first week of the new hands-free cellphone law.

The Star Tribune reports that officers handed out 286 citations in Hennepin County, or about 40 percent of the total tickets issued.

State Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank says he hopes to see the number of citations decline as people realize police are pulling over drivers who fail to put down their devices while behind the wheel. He says he issued a warning to a driver from out of state who didn't know about the law.


Minnesota became the 19th state with a hands-free law when it took effect Aug. 1. Fines are $50 for the first offense and $275 for each subsequent violation, plus court costs.

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