Are you ready to drive without using your phone?

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The hands-free driving law goes into effect in February.

Police say with the new law taking effect on February 23, if the phone is being used hands-free, you are allowed one swipe to answer. Other than that, you cannot use your phone while on the road.

Right now, drivers can only hold their phones while talking in the car but cannot text. The new hands-free law makes holding the phone illegal.

I think the new law is a great thing. I can tell you from experience I am a distracted driver, and I’ve had to fight an innate feeling that when the phone rings, not to pick it up or to pull over to the side of the road.

Anthony Centamore, Billerica

From February 23 to March 31, if you are seen with a device in your hand you can be given a verbal warning. After that time the penalties are higher.

For the first offense the fine is $100. The second offense is a $250 fine and a mandatory class. The third offense carries a fine of $500 and will be reported to your insurance company.

I hope it will be effective. You know if people want to be in the right when they’re driving they’ll obey the law. How many accidents, how many lives has it costed already?

David Luthi, Springfield

Officers recommend if you do need to use your phone to use one with a mount that attaches either to your vent or the dashboard and to program it before you leave.

You’re behind a 4,000 pound weapon for lack of a better term. In a motor vehicle can do a lot of damage if you hit somebody. So we just want people safe. We want people to pay attention to the road. Cut down on crashes so everybody gets hope safe.

Officer Mike Wilk, Chicopee Police Officer

You are not allowed to use the phone even at a stop signal, stop sign or pulled over on the side of the road.

Some phones offer a setting where you can program it to send a text to people while you’re driving to let them know that you’re unavailable.

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