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

Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger Says: Sign Up for a Celtics Plate! posted on Oct 20

Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger Says: Sign Up for a Celtics Plate!

The Registry of Motor Vehicles’ new Boston Haymarket Center received a special visitor today: Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger.  “Sully” joined Registrar Celia Blue to greet visitors, meet the staff, and encourage customers to sign up for the Boston Celtics Specialty License Plate. The Celtics   …Continue Reading Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger Says: Sign Up for a Celtics Plate!

EZPass: New Service to Reload Transponders, Pay by Plate posted on Oct 17

EZPass: New Service to Reload Transponders, Pay by Plate

MassDOT is supplementing All-Electronic Tolling at the Tobin Bridge with a new retail Cash Payment Network system. This program, which is now officially live, will allow cash preferred customers to pay their PAY BY PLATE MA invoices and replenish their MassDOT E-ZPass accounts at over   …Continue Reading EZPass: New Service to Reload Transponders, Pay by Plate

Governor Patrick Announces Fairmount Line Service Upgrades posted on Oct 16

Governor Patrick Announces Fairmount Line Service Upgrades

Governor Deval Patrick today joined MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott and state and local officials to announce a package of service upgrades to the MBTA‘s Fairmount Commuter Rail Line to improve the Line’s reliability, frequency and to   …Continue Reading Governor Patrick Announces Fairmount Line Service Upgrades