Cell Phone Ban Vote Delayed

There was a bill before the Massachusetts Legislature that would ban Junior Operators (typically teen drivers) from operating a cell phone (including texting) while driving, AND to require all other drivers to use hands-free devices when using electronic devices, such as cell phones while driving.

On January 16, 2008, the bill was withdrawn from consideration, because according to Speaker DiMasi, it was too broadly written. According to his spokesperson, the bill will be modified and then put back before the House for a vote.

The bill would ban hand-held cell phones, pagers and other electronic equipment from use while driving.  There would be a $100.00 fine for a first offense, $250.00 for a second offense and a $500.00 fine for a third or subsequent offense. There is an exemption written into the bill for emergency calls to police or fire.

Additionally, junior operators would face a license suspension for using ANY mobile device while driving.

If Massachusetts legislatures enact this law, they would be following California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington and the District of Columbia, where it is illegal to use hand-held electronic devices while driving.  Additionally, several other states have enacted laws restricting young drivers from using electronic devices while driving.

Washington and New Jersey were the first states to ban text messaging while driving.

See Boston.com for information.

I will keep you updated on any further developments regarding the potential cell phone ban.

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