SEEKONK, Mass (WPRI) — Most New England states have hands-free laws in place, but not Massachusetts.
The Bay State already has a ban on texting while driving, but there is no handheld ban like here in Rhode Island.
Our Boston affiliates report that over the last few years, different versions of the law have passed the Senate, however they have stalled the House.
This is partly due to concerns that people of color may be pulled over at disproportionate rates.
There has been some pushback from law enforcement over new versions requiring police to keep detailed records when they pull a driver over for phone use.
This is something incredibly frustrating to Emily Stein.
Her father was killed on the side of Route 2 by a driver using a device.
Stein says she is still working to change this law in memory of her father.
“It’s been 7 and a half years since my Dad was killed by someone who was programming her GPS, and that’s still legal in Massachusetts.”
“We’re going to look back and say wow, that was ridiculous that we were allowed to use a small computer right in front of our face while driving a thousand to two thousand pound vehicle.”