Hands-Free When Driving In Massachusetts, It’s the Law!

by | Feb 14, 2020 | Auto Insurance, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving, Mass Laws, Personal Risk, Safety, texting and driving, Young Drivers

As of February 23, 2020 hands-free driving is the law in Massachusetts!

The new law prohibits drivers of motor vehicles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode. Distracted driving has sky-rocketed as an issue since the adoption of cellphones in everyday life and many states have instituted similar laws to curb the problem. In the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured each day in accidents that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Did you know it only takes 3 seconds to get into an accident after getting distracted?

The penalties for violating the hands-free law:

  • 1st offense – $100 fine.
  • 2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program.
  • 3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program.

What drivers 18 and over need to know:

  • You can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode and are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode.
  • You’re not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone.
  • You cannot touch thephone except to activate the hands-free mode and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.
  • You’re not allowed to touch devices for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use.hands-free driving tech
  • Activation of GPS navigation is permitted when the device is installed or properly mounted.
  • Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane or a bicycle lane, but is not allowed at red lights or stop signs.
  • Voice to text and communication to electronic devices is legal only when device is properly mounted; use of headphone (one ear) is permitted.

Drivers who are under 18

  • Are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, safely pull over and stop before calling 911.

For more details please see Mass.gov.


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