Proposed bill could ban hand-held use of cellphones while driving in Massachusetts

Massachusetts

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts may soon ban anything but hands-free use of your cellphone while you’re driving. 

Right now, it’s illegal in Massachusetts to text or email while driving, but this law would take things a step further, and prohibit you from holding or touching your mobile phone while behind the wheel. 

If some state lawmakers have their way, Massachusetts drivers will have to put their phones down or pay the price. 

A new distracted driving bill would prohibit drivers from touching or holding their cellphones for anything more than a single tap or swipe- and that’s only to change to your “hands-free” mode or start navigation. Lawmakers hope to see fewer people fiddling with their phones, and more focusing on the road. 

Under the bill being considered, your first ticket will cost you $100, and by your third offense? $500. And further violations could cause your insurance rates to go up. 

“Because I’m in a pickup truck, I can see,” said Pamela Rousseau of Chicopee. “People are texting, they’re swerving. I’ve had people cut in front of me, and you can see them on their cellphone.” 

If this bill passes, Massachusetts would become the seventeenth state to outright ban hand-held use of cellphones while driving. 

“I won’t even answer my phone,” said Diane Wood of Springfield. “My daughter gets mad when I don’t answer the phone, but I say you know I won’t when I’m driving. I would hope it would because a difference because there are too many accidents.” 

The Senate will be taking up the proposal in their session next Thursday. 

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