In January 2016 the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill S.2093, banning the use of handheld mobile phones while driving. Though Massachusetts has banned texting, police have issued around 10,000 tickets with fines for texting violations. Law enforcement officials have complained that if someone is pulled over for texting, the law currently gives the driver an out because he can say he was dialing a phone number .
This bill , if passed, will require anyone using a mobile phone while driving to use hands-free technology. It would also prohibit one from doing the following:
- Dial a number
- Hold a phone while talking,
- Input an address into a GPS,
- Compose or read an electronic message.
The fines would be:
- $100 for a first offense,
- $250 for a second offense and
- $500 for a third offense.
These are the same fines that currently exist for texting while driving. There would be an exception in case of an emergency. Repeat violators would also be required to take a distracted driving class, which would be a significant expense. In addition An attachment to the bill creates public awareness/education programs.
If the House passes the measure Massachusetts would be the 15th state along with the District of Columbia to impose these restrictions. According to the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety 46 states, have banned texting while driving.
The increase of public awareness from the publicity regarding the proposed bill, as well as the recent increased enforcement of current law (under the national campaign called “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”) has heightened the awareness of the importance of safety on the highways.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident in which the issues of distracted driving, cell phone use or texting while driving are concerns, consult with an experienced accident attorney. This is critical, especially in a serious accident when someone is hurt. Car accidents in Massachusetts have a statute of limitations. John Tramontozzi is an experienced attorney who specializes in auto accident and injury claims. He is happy to help you identify the next step and to plan for legal action if it is necessary. Initial consultation is free.