Soon, drivers will be banned from using any hand-held devices, such as a cell phone, while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Governor Charlie Baker signed the law in November, making Massachusetts the sixth New England state to have a ban in place, saying "Operators driving a car should not be holding a phone to text, check social media, or email. When a driver on an electronic device hits something or someone, that's not an accident. It's a crash that was avoidable."
What is banned with the new Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law?
Any use of a hand-held device while driving. This means to typing, scrolling, swiping or otherwise holding a cell phone while behind the wheel. You can use voice to text, speakerphone, blue tooth or other hands free ways to talk or text while driving.
I thought there already was a ban on texting and driving?
There was, but it was focused on texting. This bans all hand-held phone use.
When does the new MA Distracted Driving Law take effect?
February 23, 2020.
What if I get caught Distracted Driving in MA under the new law?
You can expect to get a warning during the initial grace period through the end of March 2020. Otherwise, the first offense will mean a $100 fine; second offense $250, and third or subsequent offenses will incur a $500 fine. Offenders could be subject to an auto insurance surcharge, and possible driver training rules.
Will there be any exceptions under the new law?Electronic devices are permitted under certain conditions, including:
• If you are in a stopped vehicle, and the vehicle is not in a public way intended for travel by motor vehicles or bicycles.
• If you are in or responding to an emergency situation.
• If you are using your device to view a map for navigation purposes and the device is mounted to the vehicle’s windshield, dashboard or center console.
Spread the word: distracted driving is dangerous – and against the law.