Massachusetts has just become the 29th state to ban texting while driving. Under a bill which was signed recently signed and will take effect in October, Massachusetts drivers will be banned from text messaging while driving, a first offense will result in a $100 fine, $250 fine for the second offense and a $500 fine for third and subsequent texting while driving violations. Under the new law, texting while driving is a primary enforcement offense, meaning that Massachusetts police officers can stop motorists who they believe are texting while driving. Violations of the text message law will not be counted as “surchargable events” for insurance or license suspension purposes.
The new law does not just apply to texting. It outlaws internet surfing and use of wireless mobile electronic devices. However, there is an exemption for using cell phone and mobile devices for certain enumerated emergency purposes.
Under another part of the law, drivers under age 18 will prohibited from using any cell phone or wireless mobile device while driving. Violations of this law will result in Junior Operator’s License or Learner’s Permit license suspensions. Junior Operator’s Licenses or Learner’s Permits will be suspended for 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and 1 year for a third or subsequent violation.
Texting while driving and use of a cell phone by a JOL license Holder are not considered surchargable events for the purpose of the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) and for 3 and 7 Surchargable Event Suspensions.