Texting and Driving

Texting and Driving

Is Texting and Driving Illegal?

In Massachusetts you could get into legal trouble if you text and drive. Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law last November making it illegal to use hand-held devices, like cell phones, while behind the wheel. The new law goes into effect on February 23, 2020.

This new rule means that scrolling, swiping, typing or using or holding a cellphone while driving is now against the law.

What is the Punishment for Texting and Driving?

Until the end of March 2020 there will be a grace period. This means that if you are stopped by the police you will only receive a warning.

However, after March 2020 you will receive these fines for texting and driving:

  • $100 fine for first offense
  • $250 fine for second offense
  • $500 for a third or subsequent offense

Distracted driving that results in serious injury to others or significant destruction of property could lead to more serious criminal charges, like negligent operation.

How to Drive Safely

Here are some useful tips to stop texting while you are driving:

Silence Your Phone

We often instinctively reach for our phones when we hear it make a noise like a buzz or a ding. To avoid reaching for your phone while you drive, silence it by putting it on “do not disturb” mode.

Put Your Phone Out of Reach

We often check our phones to see if we received a text message or a notification. Don’t be curious. Try keeping your phone far away from you by putting it in the back seat or even in the trunk.

Pull Over and Stop

If a message is important enough that you need to answer it right away, the safest thing you can do is pull over to respond. Better to take the time to stop than to risk injuring yourself or others.

Lead By Example

If you are a parent or guardian, encourage your children not to text and drive by not doing so yourself. If your children see you are following the rules of the road, they will be less likely to drive distracted when they are behind the wheel.

What if I Get into Trouble for Texting and Driving

If you or someone else face legal consequences for distracted driving, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney. There may be ways to avoid paying costly fines. In more serious cases when others are injured, there could also be solutions to keep you out of jail and driving safely on the roads.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT TEXTING AND DRIVING, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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