Massachusetts Laws on Use of Electronic Devices while Driving

August 2, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Posted in Auto, Laws, Regulations, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Massachusetts has strict laws with regard to the use of electronic devices while driving. An electronic device is defined as any hand-held or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more persons. No one under the age of 18 should be using a telephone while driving. No one should be texting while driving regardless of age.  Reporting an emergency is the only exception to the law.

You may not be aware that “while driving” includes while you are stopped at a red light. A police officer does not have to witness your use of the device in order to be cited. There have been cases where phone records have been reviewed at the time of an accident to discover there were texts received or sent. Fines can be enforced after the fact, or criminal charges filed for bodily injury resulting from improper use of electronic equipment.

Some penalties for improper use of electronic devices while driving are:

Junior Operators:

  • 1st offense – $100, 60 day license suspension and attitudinal course
  • 2nd offense – $250, 180 day suspension
  • 3rd offense – $500, 1 year suspension

Operators 18 and over:

  • 1st offense – $35 fine
  • 2nd offense in 12 months – $75 fine
  • 3rd offense in 12 months – $150 assessment

You may be tempted to send a quick text, but the bottom line is: Don’t Risk It! Do not use your electronic devices at all while behind the wheel, especially when your engine is running. Get into the habit of ignoring your electronic devices while driving. You’ll not only save your record but you could possibly save a life.

If you would like additional information on the Massachusetts safe driving laws, visit www.massdot.state.ma.us

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