It was only a matter of time for us here in MA to start seeing stricter laws regarding phone usage while driving. Massachusetts has passed a new law banning the use of handheld electronic devices while driving, barring looking at text, videos or images while driving. Drivers may continue to use electronics in “hands-free” mode.
The law goes into effect on February 23, 2020 with a grace period for violations until March 31. Penalties will be a $100 fine for a first offense, $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for subsequent offenses.
Drivers will be permitted to use electronic devices under certain conditions, including:
• If you are in a stopped vehicle, and the vehicle is not in a public way intended for travel by motor vehicles or bicycles.
• If you are in or responding to an emergency situation.
• If you are using your device to view a map for navigation purposes and the device is mounted to the vehicle’s windshield, dashboard or center console.
That last one is tricky for those of us who rent cars on a regular basis. I depend on my GPS app everywhere I go, but I don’t carry a mount for my phone. I usually put it in the cup holder. What tricks do you have for this?
Do you know the laws for your home and client states? There are different laws for usage for minors, talking, texting, and public drivers. Kansas, Florida, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming are the only states with absolute no restrictions. Click here for a complete chart, but don’t assume its 100% accurate.
Please don’t text and drive regardless of the law. Wishing you all a very safe and fun Holiday Season.