New driving law February 2020

Get Ready: New Driving Law February 23, 2020

Are you prepared for the new driving Massachusetts driving law? Starting February 23, 2020, MA’s new law will go into effect banning drivers from holding phones. Massachusetts is the 14th state prohibiting the use of phones while driving. Here’s what else you need to know about this upcoming change:

Why the change?

Distracted driving is one of the deadliest culprits behind accidents. When a driver is distracted, they are more likely to get into a crash. When a person is behind the wheel, their full attention should be on the road ahead. The culture of social media and checking emails, texts, and other notifications has become a significant contributor to distracted driving. MA joins other New England states and NY to combat this issue.

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What is no longer allowed?

Back in 2010, MA banned texting while driving. However, the state found it difficult to enforce this law. Starting February 23, the use of any hand-held device while driving is prohibited. The items drivers cannot hold includes:

  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • Other electronic hand-held devices

Can I use my phone GPS?

Using you phone for navigation purposes will still be allowed. However, your phone or device must be mounted on your dashboard. It must still be hands-free!

Can I make phone calls?

You are allowed to make phone calls as long is it done hands-free! You can do so by mounting your phone to your dashboard or using a Bluetooth enabled car. You cannot hold your phone to make a call.

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How will this affect law enforcement?

In 2010 when texting and driving was banned, it was difficult for police to see what the driver was doing from a distance. Because the use of any handheld device will now be banned, it allows law enforcement to better assess the situation. The new law also requires police to keep records of the driver receiving the ticket, including race, gender, and age. This data will also be available in reports for analysis regarding racial profiling by the police.

How will this impact road safety?

Hopefully, this law will help improve road safety for everyone – you, your loved ones, and others on the road. However, it’s still important to keep other distractions to a minimum. Don’t blast music too loudly, and make sure that passengers aren’t unruly. Read more about distracted driving here.

Accidents still happen, even to the most attentive drivers. Make sure that you are protected if an accident happens. What coverage do you have? What does it cover? What does it not cover? Talk to your insurance agent about your auto insurance policy. If you have any concerns about your coverage or about this new law, they can help address those concerns.

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