BOSTON (WWLP) – It’s official, you will no longer be allowed to have your phone in your hand while driving in Massachusetts. A measure that many people, including the governor, believe will save lives.
The bill which was approved by both the House and Senate last week aims to update the state’s existing driving laws. Texting behind the wheel was banned in 2010 but drivers are still scrolling on social media or taking photos and videos.
The new law will only allow drivers to use a single tap or swipe to activate their phone’s ‘hands free’ mode. This includes GPS devices, which under the new law, must be mounted to the windshield, dashboard or center console.
“Operators driving a car should not be holding a phone to text, check social media or email,” Governor Charlie Baker said.
Some days I thought this bill should be named after Jordan, after Katie, after Merit, Amanda, or my dad, but unfortunately the list is too long, but I know that they’re here with us today, and they’re proud of what we’ve accomplished at last,” Emily Stein said.
The families of those whose lives were taken by distracted drivers hope that imposing fines of up to $500, will encourage people to put down the phones and pay attention to the road.
The law takes effect in 90 days, however, police will still issue warnings through March 31, while drivers get used to the new law.