Massachusetts texting ban now effective
Governor Deval L. Patrick may have signed the bill over the summer, but it didn’t have any impact until yesterday. On September 30, Massachusetts became the 30th state where texting while driving is illegal.
As per the state’s Safe Driving Law, it is now prohibited to use a mobile telephone, or any handheld device capable of accessing the Internet, to manually compose, send or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle. The measure is even tougher on drivers under the age of 18, as they are banned from using any cell phone or electronic device while driving, including hands-free technology. Penalties for violating the texting while driving ban vary from a fine between $100 and $500. Young drivers can also face license suspensions between 60 days and a full year for repetitive offenses.
For Attleboro Police Chief Richard Pierce, such law should help reduce distracted driving.
“People have to realize that when they’re operating a motor vehicle on a public way or anywhere, their attention has to be focused on the operation of the vehicle and only the operation of the vehicle,” said Pierce.
The new law will be promoted through 400 message boards and eight digital billboards on roads around the state.
Source: WPRI, September 24, 2010, Mass Live, September 25, 2010