If you haven’t heard already, MA Governor Deval Patrick signed a new law banning texting while driving on July 2, 2010. The “Safe Driving Bill” also prohibits drivers from accessing the web or generally tinkering with their phone while operating their vehicle. Police will not only target vehicles in motion, but also those stopped at stop signs and red lights.
Drivers who disobey the new law face fines ranging from $100 to $500. However, these drivers will not be surcharged. In other words, they will not have any “points” added to their MA auto insurance policy.
Drivers under the age of 18 are not only banned from texting, but also from talking on the phone. Teen drivers who are apprehended for texting while driving will not only have to pay the $100 fine, but will also have their license revoked for 60 days. Furthermore, these drivers must take an “Attitude” course in order to get their license reinstated. Second offenses call for a $250 fine and a 180-day license suspension. The third offense is a bit more severe; these drivers will have to pay a $500 fine and have their license revoked for a year. They will also have to take a driver-retraining course. (Source: Mass.gov)
As part of the legislation, drivers over the age of 75 will also have to take a vision test every 5 years to stay on the road.
So, in all, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Or you may have to incur unnecessary costs. It may be wise to invest in a hands-free device for your teen so he or she can avoid the dangerous temptation to text.
Massachusetts is the 29th state in the US to ban texting while driving. (Source: WHDH.com).