It’s been nearly a year since Massachusetts bolstered its distracted driving laws by banning texting and driving – the law took effect September 30, 2010. With that anniversary just weeks away, the Boston Herald looked at the effectiveness of the texting ban.
In an effort to reduce Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents and reduce injuries and fatalities, the law forbids drivers from using their cell phones to read or send text messages or emails. The first time that a driver is caught texting while behind the wheel, a fine of $100 may be assessed; a fine of $500 may be assessed for subsequent violations of the ban. However, drivers are still able to talk on cell phones without the use of hands-free technology.
Further, the law bans teens from texting or talking while behind the wheel. If a teen is caught using a cell phone while driving, he or she faces a fine and a license suspension of 60 days.
Looking at tickets issued between September 30, 2010 and the end of May 2011, the Boston Herald found that nearly three texting while driving tickets were issued every day – that’s a total of 733 tickets. Another 344 drivers have been ticketed under the new law for distracted driving. And, only 41 teens received tickets for using their cell phones during this period.
Texting While Driving: The Most Dangerous Distraction
While most states have laws against distracted driving, texting while driving receives special attention because it is one of the most dangerous types of distraction. According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction:
- Visual – taking eyes off the road
- Cognitive – taking mind off driving
- Manual – taking hands off the steering wheel
Texting while driving puts all on the road at risk of injury. When you or a loved one is injured by a distracted driver it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: Boston Herald, Massachusetts Texting Ban Requires Education, Enforcement