Gov.Baker Signs Distracted Driving Law
Drivers in Massachusetts now have 90 days to master their vehicle's Bluetooth or other hands-free phone connections. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation this afternoon that would make the use of handheld phones while driving illegal in the Commonwealth.
The bill landed on Baker's desk last week after a compromise measure was passed by the House and Senate. The legislation requires drivers to use their phone in a "hands-free mode" like Bluetooth, or another device.
Drivers would be prohibited from holding any mobile device, according to the legislation. They would still be allowed to look at a GPS device mounted on their car's windshield, dashboard, or a center console that does not distract them.
Also, according to wcvb.com, the new law permits the use of electronic devices if they are being used in response to an emergency, necessary for first responders to do their jobs. It also permits use if operators are stationary and not in active lanes of travel.
The new law carries a $100 fine for a first offense, $250 for a second, and $500 for any offense after that. There will be a grace period through March 31 during which a violator will only receive a warning for their first violation. 90 days from today would be Feb. 23, 2020 and the clock is ticking.