February 5, 2010 – Boston – A new bill is being proposed in Massachusetts that would limit cell phone use by drivers and ban texting altogether in a move to combat distracted driving accidents.
According to reports in The Boston Globe, Massachusetts drivers would only be able to use a cell phone while driving if the cell phone was connected to a hands-free device with voice-recognition dialing. Basically, you would not be able to use your cell phone if you needed to hold it or dial a number manually. The bill also strongly combats texting and if passed, would make sending, receiving, or reading text messages or emails in your car illegal. Drivers would only be allowed to sed text messages, “if the vehicle is stationary and not located in a part of the roadway intended for travel.’
Violations for texting while driving would include $100 fines for a first offense, $250 for a second offense, and $500 for a third. The bill would also provide that drivers who were found be texting when they caused a car accident would be considered “reckless drivers” and face up to 2 years of jail time.
Cell phone use among teenagers would face stricter rules — no cell phone use or texting whatsoever — plus the additional of a 180-day suspension of their license or permit in addition to fines and further suspensions for repeat offenses.
We’ll have to wait and see if the bill passes as-is and if so, when the new cell phone laws for Massachusetts would go into effect.
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