Often times when I'm driving around in the Berkshires or on a Massachusetts highway, I'll get a text or a phone call. Obviously, I have to ignore the incoming message until I get home. If it's really important I suppose I could pull off to a rest stop which I have done before in Berkshire County.

Thinking about the Massachusetts Hands-Free While Driving Law, I started to wonder what constitutes being legal when deciding to pull off to the side of the road or highway in Massachusetts. I needed a refresher.

Most likely to nobody's surprise, you can't just pull off to the side of the highway for anything. There are times when it's perfectly fine to pull off and park on the side of the highway in Massachusetts. For example, if you need to change a tire or make an emergency repair, that's acceptable. If you pull over and park for anything that is a non-emergency or non-emergency repair you could get hit with a fine.

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I remember back when I had my second car which was a 1993 white Buick Century (I know, impressive) I had to pull off to the side of the road in Cheshire because one of the doors was actually starting to fall off. I'm pretty sure that would count as an emergency. I was getting rid of the car anyway and I was headed to the dealer when the door was failing....talk about timing. In addition to the broken driver's seat and being able to see through parts of the floor, the failing door was the final nail in the coffin.

When you're driving on the highways in Massachusetts, save pulling off and parking for only emergency situations. Your wallet will thank you.

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