Friday, April 22, 2016

Cell Phone Ban Laws in Massachusetts

This year In Massachusetts the Senate passed a bill to ban the use of handheld phones as well as electronic devices while driving the bill, S.2093, requires anyone using a handheld phone to use hands-free technology to both dial and to talk. The bill prohibits a driver from holding a phone, entering an address in a GPS navigation system or reading messages and of course texting f or using e-mail while talking, inputting an address into a GPS, or composing or reading an electronic message.

Fines & Penalties

The fines for these offenses would be $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense. These are the same fines that currently exist for texting while driving.  If you have an emergency (911 calls etc.) then these fines would not be enforced. A criminal defense lawyer may be needed if an individual is in violation of the law, if passed, and the individual cause’s physical harm to another or even death.

Today’s drivers are used to being able to call someone whenever they like text a friend or use GPS to be able to move about town. With the convenience of technology, also comes mistreatment. Individuals can easily become distracted by the mobile device to then forget they are actually controlling a motor vehicle, instantly causing an accident. In the United States, car accidents are happening more often, resulting in personal injury cases due to individuals using mobile devices and not paying attention. Motor vehicle offenses in Massachusetts are happening more and more, with the lawyer covering such cases on a regular basis.

New Legislation to Potentially Save Lives

In the House of Representatives, a similar measure is to be proposed and if passed, the bill would need to be signed by Governor Charlie Baker to become law. Jason Lewis, a Senator of the state, commented that the public safety issue is a situation that can mean the difference between life and death. The banning of such activity via a mobile device while driving would significantly diminish driving distractions, according to Baker, which will save lives by making the road safer.

Penalties for Violation of Proposed Legislation

For a criminal lawyer, it is not uncommon to represent an individual of Massachusetts who has been involved in a car accident. Mobile devices have created an additional layer to vehicle accidents, being a big cause in why drivers hit other individuals on the roadways. By passing such a law, drivers can feel safer to be on the roadways as those who would use mobile devices in an unsafe manner would be punished if found to be doing so.

Thoughts on the Measure

Residents of Massachusetts have mixed feelings about the measure, but for the most part, residents want to see the streets safer. Individuals will have to make adjustments by using the ‘hands-free’ feature to talk to family and friends or to use the GPS system while driving. However, this small change will make the roads a safer place for residents as well as travelers to the state.

By Kathleen A. Delaney Esq.


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