The Massachusetts government takes driving safety extremely seriously. That is why the hands-free driving law is a statewide rule as of February 2020.
The “hands-free” part of the law refers to the responsible use of electronic devices while driving, so as to reduce the odds of catastrophic vehicle crashes. By understanding this law and how it affects you, you can be a more informed and conscientious driver.
What does Massachusetts law say about hands-free driving?
According to current Massachusetts law, you may not use any electronic device while operating a motor vehicle unless the device is in hands-free mode. The only reason you may touch your mobile phone or other devices while driving is for the sake of placing it in hands-free mode. The only exceptions exist when activating a mounted GPS device or when dialing 911 for an emergency, though authorities recommend coming to a safe stop if possible.
What is the penalty for violating the hands-free law?
The first offense of touching an electronic device while operating a vehicle comes with a $100 fine, with a second offense increasing the fine to $250 and requiring the offender to enroll in an educational program. The third offense and beyond comes with a $500 fine, additional educational courses, and an insurance surcharge. It is worth noting that it is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use an electronic device whatsoever while driving, including the use of hands-free mode.
The Massachusetts hands-free driving law exists to reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents. When drivers only use their phones in hands-free mode, they can direct more of their attention to the task at hand.