Mass. Texting and Driving Law

Last week a new law went into effect barring cell phone use for junior operators and completely abolishing texting while driving. Now every news station in the state is asking people how many of you actually text while drive so I’m not going to ask you that. I’m going to assume you do and shame on you. But I can’t judge, I’ve done it too. I’m surprised I haven’t heard much push back on the law either. I’d expect to hear everyone up in arms complaining that this law infringes on something and in the long run is racist in some way but not to many people are fighting this. To be honest I’d rather drive with someone who’s had a few to drink than someone who’s always texting. At least someone who’s been drinking is actually paying attention to the road.

I guess this is a sign of our little state growing up and being more responsible. So the question is, how can they tell you’ve been texting? If I’m receiving a phone call and reading the display and decide not to answer, can that be confused for texting? Doesn’t an officer require a warrant to search through my phone? What if I have my passcode on and suddenly forget what it is? Oh well, this is the kind of law that is like your mother telling you not to swim after eating. To get the law straight, here’s the quick and dirty. You can get the full run down from Mass.Gov

– Improper Use of a Mobile Phone by Operators 18 and Over:

Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge (One hand must be on the steering wheel at all times and no use of device can interfere with driving)
1st offense-$35 assessment
2nd offense in 12 months-$75 assessment
3rd offense in 12 months-$150 assessment

– Sending/Reading Text Messages:

Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge (Operators 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. Law applies even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.)
1st offense-$100
2nd offense-$250
3rd or subs offense-$500

Negligent Operation & Injury from Mobile Phone Use:

Criminal Offense- Insurance surcharge





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