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Massachusetts Becomes A Hands-Off State

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently enacted amendments to laws pertaining to the use of “electronic mobile devices,” to reduce distracted driving, accidents, and deaths related to distracted driving.

Chapter 155 – An Act Relative To Safe Driving

(a) No operator of a motor vehicle shall use a mobile telephone, or any handheld device capable of accessing the internet, to manually compose, send or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle. For the purposes of this section, an operator shall not be considered to be operating a motor vehicle if the vehicle is stationary and not located in a part of the public way intended for travel.

(b) A violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, by a fine of $250 for a second offense and by a fine of $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

(c) A penalty under this section shall not be a surchargeable offense under section 113B of Chapter 175.

Correction: It appears that the bill has been passed by the Senate, but is awaiting a vote by the House. We will continue to monitor this important bill. However, it is always a good and safe practice to be alert and undistracted while operating a motor vehicle and not to use any electronic device, which will help to protect yourself, your passengers, other motorists, cyclists, runner, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users.

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