You may remember back on Feb. 23 in 2020 the Massachusetts hands-free law took effect. The law prohibits drivers from using any electronic device in their vehicles, unless the device is in a “hands-free mode.”

It may or may not be a surprise to you that there are a number of Massachusetts motorists and visitors to the Bay State that aren't taking the law seriously. As a matter of fact, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has recorded 53,638 motor vehicle citations which includes 40,181 warnings for distracted driving since the law took effect last year.

Under this Massachusetts law, operators are prohibited from  reading/viewing texts, images or videos unless what is being used is helping with navigation but even in that case, drivers need to make sure that device is mounted in the appropriate location.

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It's all about safety

It all boils down to safety on the road and there are some costly consequences if you're an offender. Punishment for violating the Massachusetts hands-free law includes a $100 fine for the first offense, a $250 fine for the second offense, and a $500 fine for the third or subsequent offense. In addition, if you commit a second or subsequent offense, you'll be required to complete an educational program focused on distracted driving prevention. Who needs that? To date, the program has been assigned to operators 161 times with 74 individuals having completed the online training requirement, and 87 individuals currently required to complete the training. A third or subsequent offense will count as a surchargeable incident.

We all can do better

Let's face it, you can't be focused on the road if you are shifting your attention to electronic devices. Thus, fatal crashes are more likely to occur. This law is ignored pretty often to the point where distracted driving fatal crashes occur more often during the week surpassing speeding and impaired driving.

Let's have an enjoyable summer

Summer is here. There's going to plenty of exploring, traveling and vacationing. Let's all do our part in following the Massachusetts hands-free law so we can keep others and ourselves safe when on the road. Nobody wants to spend summer in the hospital.

More information and statistics available

You can dive further into the reading and statistics related to the Massachusetts Hands-Free law by going here.

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