New Ban on Drivers Holding Phones: Massachusetts Law Distracted Driving

In Auto Accidents, Misc Topics, Other Injuries, Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury by John Tramontozzi

BY: Tramontozzi Law Office

Beginning February 23, 2020, a new cellphone law will be put into effect requiring the hands-free use of mobile telephones while driving. The new law prohibits the use of electronic devices, including cellphones and tablets, by the operators of motor vehicles  unless the technology is being used hands-free.

“Hands-Free mode” means that a user cannot do so much as a single tap or swipe on their phone for text email or internet use . Drivers OVER 18 may engage in 1 touch voice activation  if the device is properly mounted.

Drivers under 18 may not touch their  phone for any purpose while driving including voice activation .  It is illegal for drivers under 18 to even to engage in a voice communication or use their phone for any purpose .

Massachusetts banned texting while driving in 2010, but enforcement proved difficult because police  could not tell from a distance if a motorist was placing a call or texting. Now, the law forbids drivers of all vehicles from holding a phone for any reason.

” There is a culture of cell phone use that needs to change,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.

The Specifics

Maps and navigation apps can be used, but the device has to be mounted on a dashboard or console.

Using a phone is allowed in response to emergencies and a request for medical attention.

Drivers can use their phones if they are stationary and are not in active lanes of travel including bicycle lanes.

In Short;  Do Not Hold Your Electronic Device while actively travelling the Road. Do not use   unless it is for navigation or one touch to activate voice to text.

If you are under 18. Don’t touch your phone for any reason.  See this link for specifics.

The law does not apply to first-responders who are on duty and are driving emergency service vehicles

Until April 1st, 2020, police will issue warnings.

A ticket for a first offense comes with a $100 fine.

Drivers ticketed a second time must attend a class on distracted driving. A second offense will cost $250.

Third and subsequent violations are a $500 fine and could result in an insurance surcharge.For more information

If you  or someone you know is in a collision related to Distracted Driving you should contact an attorney with experience in navigating Personal Injury and  the Insurance Industry. With over 30 years of experience you will find that advocacy at Tramontozzi Law Offices