With the prevalent use of technology, accidents resulting from distracted driving is on the rise. Many states have banned or restricted the use of cell phones, but surprisingly, many drivers are unaware of these laws until they are pulled over and ticketed. Massachusetts previously banned texting while driving but had not included restrictions on other types of cell phone use. In New England, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut all ban cell phone use unless using a hands-free accessory. Will Massachusetts join in the ban? Here’s what you should know about the recent bill to ban of cell phone use while driving in Massachusetts.
Senate Bill No. 2093 Passed January 2016
Yes, you may be surprised to know that Massachusetts passed a bill last January. It passed through the Senate but still needs to get through the House and signed by Governor Baker before it becomes actual law. According to this bill, you may not hold your phone to dial a number or talk on the phone while driving. You must use a hands-free device for both functions.
Cell phone use is not the only source of distracted driving. This bill also restricts inputting an address into your GPS or reading/writing electronic messages. Basically, the use of any electronic device while you are driving is prohibited.
Penalties for Violating the Ban of Cell Phone Use While Driving in Massachusetts
The penalties for violations will be tiered. For your first offense, the penalty will be $100. It increases to $250 on your second offense and $500 for your third offense. As you can see, the penalties are steep,…and indication that motor vehicle safety is being taken very seriously.
Update on the Bill
The legislative session in Massachusetts began in January and this bill is expected to be reviewed. Governor Baker has voiced concerns over the bill, indicating that cell phone use should not be restricted to only people who can afford to purchase a hands-free device. It will be interesting to see what happens to this bill and if it will indeed be passed into law. Stay tuned and follow our blog for updates on the ban of cell phone use while driving in Massachusetts and other important motor vehicle topics.