New hands-free driving bill goes into effect in Massachusetts this Sunday

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The time has come for many of us to kick a bad habit, that’s texting and driving! Starting on Sunday, it’s going to be illegal to do so in Massachusetts. 

There is still a little confusion as to what exactly is and isn’t legal under this new law. 

Reporter: Do you anything about hands-free driving law that’s going to take effect this weekend? 

Zee: Yeah, I heard a little bit about it. 

Reporter: Do you know any of the specifics of it? 

Zee: To make driving safe. 

Andrew Tomanio of Chicopee also told 22News his understanding of the new bill. 

Reporter: Do you know exactly what the hands-free bill consists of? 

Andrew Tomanio: I know that they will not be allowing us to have it in our hands at any time. 

We’ve all heard about it, but many still aren’t sure what they’ll be allowed to do with their phones behind the wheel come on Sunday. You will only be able to use your phone in hands-free mode while driving, even if you are stopped at a red light or a stop sign, your phone must be completely out of your hand.  

A single touch to activate your phones hands-free mode will also be allowed, but the device must be properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console without impairing your driving. Voice to text or call is allowed but again, the phone cannot be in your hand using those features. 

“There are too many people who are distracted driving I see them all the time on the roads I think this is a great idea I think it’s needed to take effect for a very long time,” said Wesley Pomeroy of Westfield. 

Breaking the hands-free law comes with quite a few fines and consequences, hefty ones at that. Depending on the offense you could face anywhere between a $100 fine and a $500 one.  

In addition, you could have to complete a districted driving course and a see surcharge on your insurance. Officers will be able to issue warnings for first-time offenders from Sunday until March 31. 

Tickets will start being issued beginning April 1. 

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