LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP)– The Ludlow Police Department played an active role in April during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The national campaign is an effort to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.

Throughout the month officers were stationed at locations around the town where they handed out pamphlets or issued warnings to drivers who were seen using electronic devices while driving. The final results of the campaign was a total of 72 traffic stops, 54 being drivers who were observed violating the Massachusetts “hands-free” law.

“This initiative is a way for us to remind residents that it is illegal to use an electronic device while driving,” said Chief Valadas. “Our department is committed to the safety and well-being of our residents and this initiative was to help mitigate accidents and educate our residents on the dangers of being distracted while driving.”

The hands free law went into effect on February 23, 2020. The penalties for violating this law are:

  • 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.

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the grant funding for the initiative through the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) Office of Grants and Research.