The largest cause of car accidents and auto-pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts is distracted driving. Laws regarding mobile device use while driving vary from state to state, but it’s good to understand these laws pertaining to avoiding distracted driving in Massachusetts.
Cell Phone Use
There is no cell phone prohibition for drivers except that “junior operators” in Massachusetts – drivers those under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or provisional license – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving.
The junior operator prohibition on mobile electronic device includes:
- mobile telephones
- text messaging devices
- paging devices
- laptop computers
- any electronic equipment capable of playing video games or video disks or can take/transmit digital photographs or can receive a television broadcast
This does not include any equipment permanently or temporarily installed to provide navigation, emergency assistance or rear seat video entertainment. Reporting an emergency is the only exception. Drivers are encouraged to pull over and stop the vehicle to report the emergency.
These are the penalties for breaking this law:
- 1st offense-$100, 60 day license suspension & attitudinal course
- 2nd offense-$250, 180 day suspension
- 3rd or subs offense-$500, 1 year suspension
All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. That means that drivers cannot use any mobile telephone or handheld device capable of accessing the Internet to write, send, or read an electronic message including text messages, emails, and instant messages or to access the Internet while operating a vehicle. The law applies even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.
- 1st offense-$100
- 2nd offense-$250
- 3rd or subs offense-$500
Bus drivers are prohibited from using any cell phone (handheld or hands-free) and, as with all drivers, they are prohibited from texting while driving. Bus drivers can be fined $500 for using cell phones while driving.
Massachusetts’s text messaging and cell phone laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and issues a citation. Read more about Massachusetts’s distracted driving laws.
Contact An Experienced Massachusetts & Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been the victim of any type of a motor vehicle accident due to a distracted driver’s negligence, contact us to speak one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll help you to get the settlement that you deserve to help you and your family to move on after your accident.
*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.