On November 25 2019, Governor Baker signed a hands-free driving bill into law which will make it illegal to use your cell phone while driving, with a few exceptions.
What do you need to know?
Here is an excerpt from the law: “No operator of a motor vehicle shall hold a mobile electronic device or “use a mobile electronic device unless the device is being used in hands free mode.” So essentially, you can use your phone while in the car, but it has to be in hands-free mode and the only time you can legally touch it is to activate hands-free mode.
Although the law goes into effect on February 23, 2020, there will be a short grace period until March 31, 2020 during which first time violators of the new law will receive warnings.
After this grace period ends, violators will be: 1. Fined $100 for their first time offense 2. Fined $250 for the second offense 3. $500 fine for third or subsequent offense plus an increase in insurance cost. Third time and subsequent offenders will also need to complete a mandatory educational course on preventing distracted driving. Lastly, third time offenders and subsequent offenders will be hit with an increase in their insurance premium as these occurrences will be considered “surchargeable incidents”.
*Set up Hands-Free Mode on your device* Now is a good time to figure out hands-free mode on your device in preparation for February 2020.
Use the link below for a brief guide explaining how to active hands-free mode for iPhone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tkCYzPalSA
For other phone types do a Google search for “How to activate hands free mode on (your phone name here)”. Setup for most devices is easy and usually only takes about a minute or less.
Hopefully this new law will make for a better driving experience for everyone throughout the commonwealth. We want to encourage everyone to drive safely, keep your eyes on the road. thanks to Somerville Police Department for these tips.