Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents across the United States, and many states are passing laws to reduce the risk of texting while driving. To prevent personal injury caused by mobile phones behind the wheel, Massachusetts recently passed a hands-free law for all drivers state-wide. State police are currently instituting a “crackdown” to enforce the new law.
According to the state police, dozens of additional patrols have been deployed onto roads to ensure people are not using their mobile devices while driving. Under the new law, people are only permitted to use electronic devices when they are mounted inside the car and are being touched exclusively to activate hands-free mode. These restrictions also apply when a driver is stopped at a red light.
Under this legislation, using a device is not the only thing disallowed. Simply holding a device while driving is considered illegal, and police have a right to take action if they see someone with a phone in hand. Up until March 31, this action will consist of a warning; following this warning period, fines will be issued to violators.
The law is a response to the over 16,500 crashes caused by an electronic device between 2014 and 2018. Only a handful of these accidents (under 300) happened while using a hands-free device. Despite the new legislation, distracted driving may still be responsible for personal injury from car accidents in Massachusetts. Those affected by this issue should speak with a lawyer to understand their legal options to pay for treatment and possible restitution.