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Hands-free While Driving - It's the Law starting February 23, 2020

Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode. 

Penalty for violating the hands-free law:

- 1st Offense - $100 fine.

- 2nd Offense - $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program. 

- 3rd and subsequent offense - $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving education program. 

 

What does this mean for you?

Drivers who are 18 and over - 

-Can only use electronic devices and mobile pones 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 windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede that operation of the motor vehicle. 

-Not allowed to touch device for texting, emailing, apps, videos, 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 devices 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 cellphone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, safely pull over and stop before calling 911. 


 This information was provided by the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division. | Mass.gov | Article

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