It is widely acknowledged that texting and driving and other distracted driving behaviors are a known danger in Massachusetts and throughout the nation. States are trying to determine how best to address this issue with legislation, education and enforcement. As with most legal matters, however, it is not a simple case of a new law being automatically put into effect. Recently, Massachusetts has taken steps to push a law that would stop drivers from having their cellphones in their hands while driving. This is now being supported by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Gov. Baker has urged drivers to be more cautious and stop using their devices when behind the wheel. This is particularly worrisome during the holiday season when there is typically more traffic on the road, people are busier, and nerves are frazzled. With this proposed law, drivers would no longer be allowed to use their cellphones, GPS, or any other electronic device without a hands-free unit. Another commonly cited issue with these devices is people using them for purposes that have no place behind the wheel, such as checking email, accessing social media apps, and taking photos or videos.
While the above actions would be illegal under the law, drivers can swipe or touch the device once to activate it for hands-free use. The Governor was previously ambivalent about the new law, saying that he would think about it when the bill was sent to him. The Senate passed the law early in the summer, but it has yet to be taken up in the State House. Distracted driving is a clear problem as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that thousands are killed because of it on an annual basis.
The mere fact that this is such a hot button issue indicates how dangerous it is for people to be using their phones behind the wheel. Most admit how risky it is, but debate on what to do to stop it and how far the law should go. When there is an auto accident, it is vital for those who have been injured or lost a loved one to have a full accident investigation to determine its cause. A distracted driving crash can lead to massive medical expenses, lost wages, the need for 24/7 medical care and even death. A legal filing is often the only strategy to get adequate compensation. A lawyer with experience in claims due to a car accident can be of assistance.
Source: vnews.com, “Mass. Gov. Supports Ban on Cellphone Use While Driving,” Bob Salsberg, Nov. 26, 2017