The new Massachusetts hands-free driving law is a complete ban on any use of a handheld mobile device while driving. It takes effect on 2/23/2020.
The only authorized use of a phone behind the wheel are:
- Hands-free phone calls, and
- Using a GPS navigation device while your phone is mounted to the dashboard.
Penalties for distracted driving if you are stopped and ticketed are:
- First Offense: A fine of $100
- Second Offense: Fine of $250 and a required distracted driver education course.
- Third or Subsequent Offense: Fine of $500 and a surchargable event on your auto insurance.
In Massachusetts, it is a ticketable offense to text while behind the wheel, under statute G. L. c 90, Sec13B. The penalty is a $100 fine for a first offense.
As of the date of this new law coming into effect, it will be illegal to hold a phone in your hand for calls or other active uses.
Last April was “distracted driving awareness” month in Massachusetts and nationwide. This means there will be increased high-profile media campaigns and news about texting while driving. In addition, many Police departments get extra Federal grants from NHTSA to pay for patrols, and are looking to write citations to raise awareness about texting while driving and other distractions.
Any electronic messaging via a mobile device, including texting, reading or composing an email, or internet access or communication via phone is not allowed by law.[Read more…]