Massachusetts parents urge lawmakers to update distracted driving bill

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Statehouse members entered their first formal session Wednesday, but not before they heard from heartbroken parents who begged them to pass a new distracted driving bill.

Lawmakers filed into the House chamber for the first time in over a month to discuss issues like worker’s rights, and municipal spending.

What didn’t make Wednesday’s agenda was new distracted driving regulations, sparking outrage from concerned parents across the commonwealth.

“This is going on now almost 10 years, that bill did not stop my daughter from being hit by a distracted driver, get a new bill and pass it now we’re sick of it,” Thomas Brannelly said, who’s daughter died in a distracted driving accident.

The House and Senate have both proposed different versions of the distracted driving bill, but neither one has been put up for a full vote.

“I know that they’re still negotiating the distracted driving bill, I’m very very hopeful that the House leadership will move towards the Senate version of the bill,” Rep. Sabadosa said.

The House and Senate versions of the bill would prohibit drivers from holding their phone while behind the wheel, only allowing a single tap or swipe to activate the hands free mode.

What the two bills differ on is whether police officers would have to log every stop made, or if it should only be done for stops that result in a ticket.

Legislative leaders have not laid out a timeline as to when we can expect to see a draft of the distracted driving bill but 22News will keep you updated on any new information.

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