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

Concord: New MBTA Commuter Rail Bridge to Roll into Place This Weekend posted on Aug 28

Concord: New MBTA Commuter Rail Bridge to Roll into Place This Weekend

As part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, the MBTA is replacing the old railroad bridge over Route 62/Main Street in Concord with a new bridge to be rolled into place Saturday, August 29. The current bridge has low clearance and   …Continue Reading Concord: New MBTA Commuter Rail Bridge to Roll into Place This Weekend

Knowledge Corridor: New Holyoke Train Station Celebrated posted on Aug 27

Knowledge Corridor: New Holyoke Train Station Celebrated

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack today joined Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse along with state and local officials to celebrate the opening of the new $4.3 million Holyoke Train Station on the Knowledge Corridor and restoration of Amtrak Vermonter Line   …Continue Reading Knowledge Corridor: New Holyoke Train Station Celebrated

MBTA Winter Resiliency Update: Red Line, Orange Line posted on Aug 26

MBTA Winter Resiliency Update: Red Line, Orange Line

Beginning Saturday, August 29th, and continuing on selected weekends through the remainder of the summer, Red Line service between JFK/UMass and Quincy will be temporarily suspended to allow workers to make the subway more resilient to harsh winter weather conditions. On weekends when workers will   …Continue Reading MBTA Winter Resiliency Update: Red Line, Orange Line