Driving Laws in Massachusetts

Posted on April 30, 2018

Safe driving in Massachusetts has changed since September 30, 2010. The Safe Driving laws created by MassDOT IT staff and Merit Rating Board have worked diligently to implement and program these new laws. Six new violations have been created and put into effect as of 2010 with various offenses related to them.

 

Ch 90/8M- Use of a Mobile Phone or Mobile Electronic Device by a Junior Operator is a Civil Offense- No insurance surcharge.

A “mobile electronic device” is any portable or handheld or other portable electronic devices cable of data communication. However, mobile devices shall not include any audio equipment or any equipment installed either temporarily or permanently, in a motor vehicle for the purpose of providing navigation or emergency assistance to the operator. Reporting an emergency is the only exception to using a mobile electronic device. 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 license suspension

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

Use of a Mobile Phone by a Public Transport Motor Vehicle Operator is a Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge.

$500 assessment for each offense

Use of a Mobile Phone by a Public Transport Non-Motor Vehicle Operator is a Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge. (MBTA Trolley)

$500 assessment for each violation

Improper Use of a Mobile Phone by Operators 18 and over is a Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge.

One hand must be on the steering wheel at all times and no use of device can interfere with driving.

1st offense- $35 assessment

2nd offense in 12 months– $75 assessment

3rd offense in 12 months- $150 assessment

Sending/Reading Text Messages is a 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

Negligent Operation & Injury from Mobile Phone Use is a Criminal Offense- Insurance surcharge

JOL Suspensions

1st offense-180-day suspension

        2nd or subsequent offense within 3 years-1 year suspension

$500 reinstatement fee

Over the age of 18 suspensions

1st offense- 60-day suspension

2nd or subsequent offense within 3 years-1 year suspension

$500 reinstatement fee

Laws, violations and offenses vary by state, when traveling check to see the different laws. Distracted driving has killed a tremendous amount of lives over the years. Be aware of other drivers and never be the distracted driver. It can wait!

To learn more about distracted driving laws visit www.mass.gov

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