Overview of the MA No-Texting Law (effective 9/30)

Don't Text and DriveSo, finally, the Massachusetts Legislature has gotten it together and actually finalized the no texting law.  It is now set to go into effect on September 30, 2010.

Here’s what it means:

There is to be no texting while driving.

Texting includes:  sending of emails, instant messages or reading of emails, instant messages or texts while you are driving.

**IMPORANT** “while driving” also means that  you can’t do any of this while ‘stopped’ at a red light.  If you are behind the wheel and the motor is running – just don’t touch your mobile device.  Period.

Penalties:

Over Eighteen

  • First Offense: $35.00 Fine
  • Second Offense: $75.00 Fine (within twelve months)
  • Third Offense: $150.00 Fine (within twelve months)

Junior Operators

  • First Offense: $100.00 Fine, 60 day license loss, and Driver Training Course
  • Second Offense: $250.00 Fine, 180 day license loss
  • Third or more: $500.00, 1 year license loss

The above fines are provided you are caught by a police officer.  If there is an accident or injury stemming from mobile phone use while you are driving, (and yes, the police can and do subpoena cell  records if cell phone usage is suspected in an accident), your license can be suspended for up to 60 days or you can be charged criminally.

The bottom line is it just isn’t worth it to text while you drive.  You are 6 times more likely to get into an accident.  Besides, who needs yet another way for the police to pull people over?!

If you get caught, it’s serious and you will need an experienced traffic and criminal defense lawyer so keep me in mind.

This post was compiled with the assistance of my law clerk, Bishoi Sourial, a 2L at Suffolk Law and my Virtual Assistant Andrea Cannavina.

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