Post Content

Distracted Driving Event, Weymouth, September 29, 2010vent 019 MassDOT and Public Safety officials remind Massachusetts drivers that new laws banning texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers go into effect at midnight Thursday, September 30.

MassDOT and Executive Office of Public Safety officials joined law enforcement, legislators and safety and injury prevention organizations and advocates in Weymouth today for a demonstration of the dangers of texting while driving and heard moving testimonials from victims of distracted driving.

"Driving while texting or using a cell phone carelessly is seriously unsafe," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This law means police are going to take it seriously."

Governor Patrick signed legislation 90 days ago that makes it illegal for all drivers to send or read an electronic message or access the Internet while operating a vehicle even while stopped in traffic. Junior operators 16 and 17 years old are also prohibited from using a cell phone, including those with hands free capabilities, at any time while driving. Teen drivers can make calls in an emergency but are urged to pull over and park first.

Under the new safe driving laws, law enforcement will be able to pull over any driver suspected of using a mobile electronic devise for texting or accessing the Internet. First time offenders are subject to a $100 fine. Junior operators observed using a cell phone can also be cited and subject to a $100 fine and the loss of their license for 60 days. Teen offenders will also be required to take a driver retraining course through the National Safety Council.

MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles is implementing the new laws and collaborating with the Highway Safety Division to inform drivers.  Watch for distracted driving messages posted on digital billboards, variable electronic message highway and turnpike signs; on posters and flyers for RMV branches, municipal airports, MBTA buses and trolleys, AAA of Southern New England offices, school nurses, pediatricians and injury prevention programs, along with MBTA platform announcements.

Visit www.mass.gov/rmv for a summary of the new law.

Last year, nearly 6,000 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roadways that were reported to have involved distracted driving. National Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is heading a national campaign to wipe out what he calls a growing epidemic. In Massachusetts, there were 400 crashes in 2008 where cell phones were reported to be a contributing factor.

Written By:

Recent Posts

MBTA: Weekend Service on 3 Commuter Rail Lines Begins December 27 posted on Dec 19

MBTA: Weekend Service on 3 Commuter Rail Lines Begins December 27

The restoration of weekend Commuter Rail service on three lines will begin next Saturday, December 27. The Kingston/Plymouth and Greenbush lines will see the return of Saturday and Sunday service and the Needham Line will resume Saturday service after a two year absence. “MassDOT is   …Continue Reading MBTA: Weekend Service on 3 Commuter Rail Lines Begins December 27

Fairhaven Bike Train Program Recognized posted on Dec 18

Fairhaven Bike Train Program Recognized

The Town of Fairhaven was recognized alongside the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program by Cape Cod’s NPR station, WCAI, for their bike train program. A bike train is a fun way for elementary and middle school students to get to school while being   …Continue Reading Fairhaven Bike Train Program Recognized

South Station Expansion: DEIR Comment Period Through December 24 posted on Dec 17

South Station Expansion: DEIR Comment Period Through December 24

Posted by:  Matthew Ciborowski, South Station Project Manager, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning I was pleased to meet with more than 60 people who participated in an Open House and Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the South Station Expansion project on   …Continue Reading South Station Expansion: DEIR Comment Period Through December 24