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Be aware of the new Massachusetts Safe Driving Law that goes into effect on September 30 2010. Here are some of the main aspects of the law.

texting or reading texts while driving prohibition

Operators cannot use any mobile electronic device to write, send, or read an electronic message (including text messages, emails, instant messages, or accessing the Internet) while operating a vehicle. This law applies to drivers of all ages. For definition of mobile device see Chapter 155 of the Acts of 2010. (MGL Chapter 90, Section 13B)

Violation Penalties:

  • 1st offense - $100 fine
  • 2nd offense - $250 fine
  • 3rd or subsequent offense - $500 fine

mobile phone use by operators under 18 prohibited

Operators under 18 years of age cannot use any mobile electronic device for any reason while operating a motor vehicle with the only exception being to report an emergency. (MGL Chapter 90, Section 8M)

Violation Penalties:

  • 1st offense - $100 fine, 60-day license suspension, and a required attitudinal retraining course
  • 2nd offense - $250 fine, 180-day license suspension
  • 3rd or subsequent offense - $500 fine, one-year suspension

unsafe or impeded operation due to use of a mobile phone

Operators over 18 years of age can use mobile telephones for calls as long as one hand remains on the steering wheel at all times. However, the use of a mobile device must not interfere with driving and cannot be used for texting. (MGL Chapter 90, Section 13)

Violation Penalties:

  • 1st offense - $35 fine
  • 2nd offense (within 12 months) - $75 fine
  • 3rd offense (within 12 months) - $150 fine

NOTE: It is not considered a violation if a vehicle is parked in an area of the road not meant for driving. Texting or use of a mobile phone is not considered a moving violation and is not subject to insurance surcharge.

negligent operation and injury from mobile device use

Personal injury or property damage caused by negligent operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offense. If you crashed because you were using a mobile electronic device in violation of the laws as outlined above, you may face criminal charges including loss of license. (MGL Chapter 90, Section 24)

Violation Penalties:

      Junior Operators (under 18 years of age)

  • 1st offense – 180-day suspension
  • 2nd or subsequent offense (within three years) – One-year suspension

      18 years or older

  • 1st offense – 60-day suspension
  • 2nd or subsequent offense (within three years) – One-year suspension

three surchargeable events suspension

If you have three surchargeable events in a two-year period, your license may be suspended. Also, if you get a third surchargeable event, you must complete a Driver Retraining Course within 90 days of the date of the notification you receive from the RMV, and if not, your license will be suspended.

required in-person drivers license renewals for operators over 75

Operators 75 years of age or older can only renew a driver’s license at an RMV branch. The operator must either pass a vision test or present a completed Vision Screening Certificate.

Source: Mass DOT
For more information:Chapter 155 Act Relative to Safe Driving 

NOTE: By sharing this information Murphy Insurance Agency is not providing legal advice, consult an attorney if you have questions.


Posted in: auto

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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.