Texting While Driving in Massachusetts: Know The Laws
Driving while on a cell phone has undoubtedly led to accidents on the road which could have been prevented. Massachusetts lawmakers continue to push for stricter regulations against cell phone use while driving. For those of you that aren't exactly sure what the current laws are, we've done some research so that you can be sure you are in compliance next time you go out for a drive.
Currently, the only law that restricts talking on a cell phone while driving applies to drivers under the age of 18 with a learner's permit or provisional license. Violators will have their license or learner's permit suspended. Junior Operator's Licenses or Learner's Permits will be suspended for 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and 1 year for a third or subsequent violation.
While licensed drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to talk on the phone while driving, all drivers are banned from texting or other Internet activity when behind the wheel. If found texting while driving, drivers will be fined $100 for their first offense, then $250, and then $500 for additional infractions.
This law may be frustrating for some drivers but there is good reason for it. You may think that sending a quick text is no big deal but texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash. Sadly, statistics like this have not been enough to keep drivers from texting behind the wheel which is why bans like this are becoming more common than ever across the country.
In addition to these bans, school bus operators and any public transit drivers are prohibited from any cell phone use whatsoever while driving, which is enforced with a $500 fine. http://handsfreeinfo.com/massachusetts-cell-phone-laws-legislation
As we said there is currently no ban on cell phone use (other than texting) on licensed drivers over the age of 18, however, a bill has recently been introduced in Massachusetts that would only allow for hands-free cell phone use. This would mean that drivers would need to have a docking station for their phone that would allow them to utilize the speaker phone feature, use headphones, or a Bluetooth to allow for driving with both hands on the wheel. This bill is yet to be passed.
While many drivers see these laws as a nuisance, their purpose is to protect everyone on the road from the dangers of distracted driving.
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