MA Bans Hand-Held Mobile Phone Use While Driving a Commercial Vehicle

January 5, 2012

Phone Ban - CMV - NBAInsurance.com - NBA Insurance Agency, Inc.

 

The US Department of Transportation ruled last month that the use of hand-held mobile phones should be banned in commercial motor vehicles. This ruling, which went into effect yesterday, will also be enforced in Massachusetts.

“Commercial Motor Vehicle” is defined as…

(a) motor carriers operating commercial motor vehicles and persons who drive commercial motor vehicles as, for, or on behalf of motor carriers, upon the ways of the Commonwealth.

(b) all motor carriers and shippers transporting hazardous materials, under the Hazardous Materials Regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, Parts 171 through 179 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, by motor vehicles upon the ways of the Commonwealth.

(c) common and contract carriers by motor vehicle, and private carriers of property and passengers by motor vehicle.

(d) a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more used for the transportation of property, or

(e) a motor vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, or

(f) a motor vehicle used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding under the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. App.1801-1813).

(g) It is the intent that the term “commercial motor vehicle” as used in 540 CMR 14.00 shall have the same meaning as in Part 390.5 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as it may be amended, and to the extent there is a conflict between the two at any time, the definition in 49 CFR Part 390.5 shall control.

Note that…

  • This rule does not prohibit a driver from using a mounted mobile phone which can be easily accessed from the driver’s seat and activated with a single button.
  • Driving means operating a commercial vehicle while on a public road, and when stopped in traffic on such a road. Driving does not include instances when the driver is safely parked. Emergency use is permitted.
  • The term mobile telephone does not include two way or Citizens Band Radio services, however the term mobile telephone does include mobile services which are provided for profit, have inter-connected service and is available to a substantial portion of the public.

Penalty:

The Driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for 60 days with the second offense in 3 years. (120 days for each subsequent offense within 3 years) Only applies if violation occurred while driving a CMV.


A Reminder: Don’t Text and Drive

October 17, 2011

No Texting While Driving - NBA Insurance Agency, Inc. - NBAInsurance.com

Massachusetts banned texting while driving back in July 2010 and yet numbers show that the ban may be ineffective. According to Fox, for every two-hundred speeding tickets issued, there is only one ticket issued for texting while driving. This great difference suggests that it is harder for police to enforce a no-texting law than it is to enforce speeding laws.

However, this ban should be taken seriously. At red lights especially, I notice other drivers texting. I’ve even seen some playing with their iPads. Enough is enough!

A recent study found that texting while driving doubles the time it takes drivers to react -increasing their odds of crashing.

 


Always Forgetting to Renew Your License? Always Afraid You’ll Forget? Fret no more.

June 20, 2011

The Massachusetts RMV has just launched a new license/MASS ID-renewal reminder service.

Yes, that’s right! Now, you aren’t obliged to add a reminder to your own Google Calendar of your license expiration date 5 or 10 years out. The RMV will now be reminding you.

As of this morning, over 113,000 Massachusetts residents had already signed up! You should too. And tell your friends to do it. You’ll be doing yourself and them a favor.

Click here to take advantage of this new system!


RMV Gives Back to Tornado Victims

June 15, 2011

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Losing everything in a tornado really does mean you lose everything. Yet, it is the littlest item that ends up being the most important. For example,  who even thinks about their driver’s license when their house is gone?

The RMV took this into account. They have just announced that as part of their effort to assist in this disaster, residents affected by the recent storms who lost their driver’s licenses or Massachusetts IDs can apply for a free duplicate by visiting a Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

Communities eligible for this benefit include: Southbridge, West Springfield, Springfield, Brimfield, Monson, Wilbraham, Sturbridge, Westfield, Agawam, Auburn, Chester, Blandford, Montgomery, Russell, Holyoke, Chicopee, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Wales, Oxford, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Webster, Holden, Southampton, Easthampton, Hampden, Charlton, Douglas, Millbury, Uxbridge, Belchertown, Northampton and Palmer.

For information on branch hours and locations, visit www.mass.gov/rmv.

(Information via MASSDOT, Registry News/MAIA Bulletin)


5 Tips on Avoiding Wind-Related Losses to Your Home or Car

June 9, 2011

Best-Preventative Measures in Avoiding Wind-Related Losses:

  • Collect the necessities before the storm hits: water, food, flashlights, batteries, radio in case of power loss. Stay away from windows. You know the basics.
  • Bring outdoor objects inside so they don’t fly away. Close the patio umbrella so it is less likely to get damaged, and then, damage other things on your property.
  • Stay inside; it’s not a good time to be sunning yourself or having a BBQ.
  • Make sure any trees or tree branches in the proximity to your car or home are secured or removed all together. (Don’t do this during the storm!)
  • Garage your vehicles if you have a garage. And secure or reinforce the door shut. (Some people fill their garage with too much junk so you can’t even fit a car in it. Don’t be one of them!)

Cambridge Bird Art ‘Distracting’ To Some Drivers; (Story from WBZ News 4)

April 22, 2011

Saw this strange news story on WBZ-4. Artist suspends a metallic flock of birds on cable wires above Cambridge roads. Some express concern that the glare from the artwork will distract drivers. Some on the comment stream of the article are suggesting that cell phones are the most distracting thing — suggestion there would be that what harm could some metallic birds do?

The artist and architecture professor, Carolina Aragon, stresses that she did not want her work to be a distraction. And of course, she does have express permission from the city.

Do you think the installation will cause problems?

Also- if you’re an art nut, you might enjoy perusing her website. Her work is quite good.

[ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Cambridge Bird Art ‘Distracting’ To Some Drivers « Cambridge Bird Art ‘Distracting’ To Some Drivers « CBS Boston.]


How Much Do You Love Your Car?

April 15, 2011
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Can you believe *this* is a Toyota Camry?

Do you drive a new car? Do  you drive a new-ish car? More than likely, you have a car loan/lease on any vehicle only a few years old.

Imagine you paid $30,000 for a new Toyota Camry in 2009. No miles. Perfect- no. SPECTACULAR condition.

Let’s say you average 15,000 miles per year (about the standard amount a person who works full-time with a moderately-sized social life drives in a calendar year).

Fast forward two years. You reach the present-day, the year 2011. You have approximately 30,000 miles on that 2009 Camry. What was once a new car is still fairly new, but not perfect. 2 years old. And oh wait, you signed a loan. Which means you might still have the interest to pay on that initial $30,000. Ew.

And then – WORSE – you get into a car accident. You’re physically totally fine in this hypothetical, but your car – eh, not so much. It’s totaled. Lucky, for you, you have full collision/comprehensive on your policy and can get money back.

But then there’s the loan.

Perhaps you have a good deal on your loan left to pay. After two years, if your payments were $400/month and you put $0 down, then you have about $20,000 left on the loan (more or less depending on your interest rate. Please also note I was an English major, not a mathematician).

The insurance company will pay you the Actual Cash Value for your loss after the deductible* (if you are subject to one). But what if your car’s value is less than the amount still left on the loan? You pay it out-of-pocket, even after the deductible.

SAY WHAT!

That’s why we offer Loan-Lease coverage! It’s pretty fancy. *See below some words from the policy page. If you’d like a quote adding this to your policy, drop us a line!

In the event of a covered total loss to an auto shown in the Coverage Selections Page for which a premium charge indicates that Auto/Loan Lease Coverage applies, we will pay any unpaid amount due on the lease or loan for that vehicle less:

1. The amount paid under Collision (Part 7) or Comprehensive (Part 9) of the policy;
2. The applicable deductible; and
3 . Any:
a. Overdue lease/loan payments, penalties, taxes, interest or charges resulting from overdue payments or lease termination fees at the time of the loss;
b. Financial penalties imposed under a lease for excessive use, abnormal wear and tear or high mileage;
c. Security deposits not refunded by a lessor;
d. Costs for extended warranties, Credit Life insurance, Health, Accident or Disability insurance or any other insurance purchased with the loan or lease;
e. Carry-over balances from previous loans or leases or increases to your loan balance occurring after the date of purchase; and
f. Amount by which your original loan balance exceeded the overall purchase price of your covered auto.