jenrgw Understanding the Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law

On September 30, 2010 Massachusetts adopted a state wide law anti distracted driving law.

The Law

Specifically, the Massachusetts law prohibits:

  • a driver from texting and driving. Texting and driving is defined as “an act of composing , sending, or reading text messages , email or any other similar use of internet-capable mobile devices while operating any form of vehicular or public transportation”;
  • drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone while driving; and
  • drivers over the age of 18 from having both hands off of the steering wheel.

The Penalties

A first offense will cost a driver $100.  Teen offenders face not only a fine but will also lose their license for 60 days and be required to take a class before being permitted to drive again.  Fines go up for subsequent offenses and those who violate the law and cause an accident may face up to two years in jail.

Early reports indicate that the law is being enforced in Massachusetts.  Hopefully, the long term reports will show a decrease in Massachusetts distracted driving accidents.

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