New Bedford, MA – The City Council voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of new local ordinance that bans drivers from texting, sending or reading an electronic message while operating within City limits. The ordinance must now be sent for approval by the Mayor, Scott W. Lang. Mayor Lang has indicated that he fully supports the ban on texting, so he is expected to sign the ordinance into law.
Violators of the new ban on texting will face a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and a $300 fine for all subsequent offenses.
On the state level, legislation that would ban texting while driving across the Commonwealth passed both chambers of the Legislature, but was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences between the two versions. As of this news report, the bills remain in conference committee.
The serious dangers of texting while driving were emphasized recently when a Texas jury ordered a Texas A&M college student to pay $22 million in damages for the death of a Baylor University biochemistry major which was caused by texting while driving. According to news reports, evidence was presented during the trial jury found that Reed Vestal had received 15 text messages and made 7 phone calls during the 45 minutes leading up to the accident.
Lawyers in Texas said the damages awarded to the family of Megan Small, who was 21 when she died, and Laura Gleffe, the driver of another car that was run off the road in the accident, may be the most a jury has handed out in Robertson County, Texas.
As a service to the SouthCoast community and Massachusetts in general, our firm will frequently publish blogs about local traffic accidents and issues that affect safe driving. We do this to raise awareness about the common types of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Massachusetts and can result in serious injuries and/or fatalities.
Common accidents include, but are not limited to:
— single-car accidents;
— accidents due to hazardous road conditions; and
— accidents caused by distracted drivers.
If you have been named in this blog or you are the victim’s family member or friend and would like the blog removed from our website, please feel free to contact us and we will promptly accommodate your request.