Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. While many things can distract drivers, the biggest culprit is the cell phone. You might think it’s not a big deal, you only looked down at your phone for five seconds to send a quick text. But it is a big deal. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is the equivalence of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Massachusetts is the newest state to pass a law banning use of a cell phone while driving.
Massachusetts Hands-Free Law
In November of 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker officially signed legislation banning use of a handheld phone while driving. The law went into effect on February 23, 2020. Under the new law, drivers in Massachusetts will only be allowed to use electronic devices in hands-free modes and are generally banned from looking at texts while operating a moving vehicle. The legislation also applies to cyclists.
Drivers will still be allowed to use their phones if their car is stationary and not in a travel lane. Handheld phone use will also still be allowed for those in an emergency situation. And drivers will still be allowed to look at their phones for navigation purposes if the device is mounted to the “windshield, dashboard or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.”
Distracted Driving Will Cost You
If you’re caught violating the new law, you can expect a hefty fine. Officers will issue warnings up until March 31, 2020, but after that, a first offense will result in a $100 ticket. Second offenses will incur a $250 fine and any additional offenses will result in fines of $500.
Dock Your Phone with ProClip
If you need to use your phone for navigation, music streaming or hands-free calling, a proper mount in your car can keep you safe and avoid the ticket. A mount from ProClip can keep your phone docked safely and out of your hands. Always remember to drive safely and that the text can wait.