The majority of Massachusetts drivers have at least heard about some new legislature that is to take effect this month, but many are still unaware of how it will affect them. New laws effective this month’s end will affect operators of all ages. Check out the following to keep yourself up-to-date and out-of-trouble:
Mobile Phone & Texting Law Effective September 30th 2010:
This new law prohibits drivers of all ages from using any kind of mobile electronic device to write, send, or read electronic messages including text messages, e-mails, instant messages and internet access. Those who disregard this new regulation will face:
- 1st offense: $100 fine
- 2nd offense: $250 fine
- 3rd + offense: $500 fine
Drivers under 18 years of age are also prohibited by this law to make any use of a mobile electronic device for any reason while operating a vehicle. Massachusetts enforcement will only allow this use for reporting an emergency. Teen drivers violating this provision will face:
- 1st offense: $100 fine & 60-day license suspension and a required attitudinal retraining course
- 2nd offense:$250 fine & 180-day license suspension
- 3rd offense: $500 fine & 1 year suspension of license
Operators of all ages may be fined for unsafe use of and impeded operation due to mobile devices. Additionally, drivers must keep one hand on the steering wheel at all times. If caught operating a vehicle with no hands on the wheel or distracted while due to a mobile device you will face the following fines:
- 1st offense: $35 fine
- 2nd offense (within 12 months): $75 fine
- 3rd offense (within 12 months): $150 fine
Further than the previously listed offenses Massachusetts law constitutes personal injury and property damages caused by negligent operation a criminal offense. If you’re involved in an accident or crash as a result of using a mobile electronic device, you will face criminal charges and suspension of your licnese.
Three Surcharges & Suspension Legislature Effective September 30th:
When a driver accrues three surcharge-able violations in a two-year time period their license may face suspension. These qualifying surcharge-able events include moving violations and accidents. Once a third surcharge is incurred in that two-year window, the driver must complete a Driver Retraining Course within 90 days of the notification sent by the RMV.
In Person License Renewals for Those 75+ Years Effective September 30th:
Drivers 75 years of age and older as of September 30th will be required to renew their license in person at an RMV branch. The operator will need to successfully complete a vision test or resent a completed Vision Screening
For additional information on the new driving laws affecting you please visit the Massachsuetts RMV website at: www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv/.