Massachusetts Hands-Free While Driving law goes into effect Feb. 23

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Massachusetts Hands-Free While Driving law goes into effect Feb. 23

The new Hands-Free While Driving becomes the law on February 23, 2020. Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles and bicycles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.

After March 31st, police will be able to start citing drivers for these violations. Motorists can be warned between 02/23/2020 – 03/31/2020.

Drivers who are 18 and over:

  • Can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode and are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode.
  • Not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone.
  • Cannot touch phone except to activate the hands-free mode and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.
  • Not allowed to touch device for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use.
  • Activation of GPS navigation is permitted when the device is installed or properly mounted.
  • Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane, but is not allowed at red lights or stop signs.
  • Voice to text and communication to electronic devices is legal only when device is properly mounted; use of headphone (one ear) is permitted.

Drivers who are under 18:

  • Are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.
  • Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, safely pull over and stop before calling 911.

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