If you rely on your phone for directions or make calls on your commute, you will want to pick up a phone holder to mount your phone to your dashboard. As of February 23, 2020, holding your phone while driving will be a finable offense in the state of Massachusetts. Joining 15 other states—including the rest of New England—Massachusetts law now prohibits drivers from holding or looking at their phones for any reason while operating a vehicle or bicycle.
While texting while driving was banned in 2010, this new bill prohibits any use of electronic devices. Any hands-on use of electronic devices will be subject to ticketing. If you’re sitting in traffic on your way to or from work, resist the urge to scroll through your social media timelines. When considering the potential risk you’re creating for every driver on the road, that video you haven’t watched yet or that photo you haven’t liked yet can wait until you reach your destination.
While the law will have a month-long grace period until the end of March, during which you could get off with a warning, you’ll be facing fines from there on out. A first offense will result in a $100 fine, which goes up to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third and any more. If you’re caught multiple times, you could be confronted with additional fees from your insurance company or subjected to mandatory driving driver training.
The new law also requires that police record the demographics of drivers. To prevent any potential biases of police, the data from these records will be collected by the RMV, analyzed, and available in annual reports. If evidence of racial profiling is found in any police department, those officers will have to undergo bias training.
Luckily, our phone technology has reached a point where we barely need to use our hands to accomplish a task. If it’s that urgent, you can send a text or make a call just with the words, “Hey Siri,” or “OK Google.” You can call upon your technological companions, or real-life passengers, to get you directions, change the song, or make a note or reminder for your future self. So, put that phone down or mount in on a phone holder to practice safe, undistracted driving for the safety of yourself and everyone else who shares the roads.
Know the law. Read more about the distracted driving laws in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts laws have placed serious restrictions on what people can do with their phones in their cars and distracted drivers still pose a serious risk to everyone on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2017 over 3,166 people lost their lives and more than 350,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes.
If you have been injured in a crash due to someone else’s negligence, call Dussault & Zatir today at 508-999-2000.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.