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Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Since graduation season is among us we thought that it would be important to explain some of the relevant laws for children and parents during these celebratory times. In the next couple of days we will be touching upon alcohol related, driving, partying, and texting laws. Specifically, today we will explain the texting while driving law.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, Massachusetts has adopted a law against specific phone uses while driving, due to the surge of accidents and even deaths caused by texting, web surfing, and reading or writing e-mails over the phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Under the Massachusetts Law, as of September 30, 2010, reading or writing texts, surfing the web, and reading or writing e-mails are all considered a Civil Offense EVEN WHILE STOPPED AT A STOP SIGN.

The Penalties are as follows (FOUND ON THE COMMONWEALTH CONVERSATION WEBSITE)

Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge

(Operators cannot use any mobile telephone or handheld device capable of accessing the Internet to write, send, or read an electronic message including text messages, emails, and instant messages or to access the Internet while operating a vehicle. Law applies even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.)

1st offense-$100

2nd offense-$250

3rd or subs offense-$500

The laws also state that a Junior Operator (driver under the age of 18) is prohibited from using cellular phones all together.

Ch 90/8M- Use of a Mobile Phone or Mobile Electronic Device by a Junior Operator

Civil Offense- No Surcharge

(Mobile electronic device includes mobile telephone, text messaging device, paging device, PDA, laptop computer, electronic equipment capable of playing video games or video disks or can take/transmit digital photographs or can receive a television broadcast. Mobile electronic device does not include any equipment permanently or temporarily installed to provide navigation, emergency assistance or rear seat video entertainment. Reporting an emergency is the only exception. Drivers are encouraged to pull over and stop the vehicle to report the emergency.)

1st offense-$100, 60 day license suspension & attitudinal course

2nd offense-$250, 180 day suspension

3rd or subs offense-$500, 1 year suspension

The above information is provided by the Massachusetts Transpotation Blog which you can find here. If you have any more questions regarding driving laws or would like to meet with an attorney at Phillips & Garcia Law please visit our website at www.phillipsgarcia.com or give us a call at (508) 998-0800. You can also email us at [email protected]