Drivers in the state could soon be banned from using hand-held cell phones at the wheel under a recently-approved bill. The bill was recently unanimously green-lighted by the Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee. This passage is an important step, advocates say, according to the Boston Globe. Previous attempts at getting lawmakers to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones for drivers have been unsuccessful.
Those who support the ban say they’re trying to finish what they started with the Safe Driving Law of 2010. This new law would make the state of Massachusetts the 10th state in the country to prohibit all drivers from using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel. Advocates hope that such a law can help to significantly reduce the risks of distraction-related car accidents in Boston and elsewhere.
Our Boston car accident attorneys understand that the 2010 law made it illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a hand-held cell phone while driving and illegal for all drivers to text. But government officials fell short of banning hand-held cell phone use for all drivers. Under that law, enforcement was difficult because officers had a hard time differentiating texting from dialing phone numbers for these young drivers.
During the first year of the 2010 law, officers wrote more than 1,000 tickets, reports MassDOT. This means they wrote about three a day, or about one for every 200 tickets that were issued for speeding. The state of Massachusetts has nearly 5 million licensed drivers.
Those who support the new, tougher hand-held ban first estimated that only a few tickets would be written with only an anti-texting law, said Senator Mark C. Montigny. He’s almost positive that a ban on hand-held call phones will soon be the law in Massachusetts.
According to the House sponsor, drivers would still be able to use phones with Bluetooth hookups. He says that the Bluetooth technology is not only safer, it’s becoming much more affordable. He says the banning of hand-held cell phones is just common sense, adding that it’s an obvious life-saving solution. He’s surprised a similar law hasn’t passed yet.
This ban has been to the state House floor twice already and has passed with overwhelming support. It’s the Senate that’s having trouble pushing it through. The Senate first rejected the measure in 2010.
Those who oppose this law say hands-free phones will give drivers a false sense of safety, saying they’re still not protected from the distractions that come with cell phone conversations behind the wheel.
If you or someone who is close to you has been injured in a distracted driving-related car accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Lawyer Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our firm offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.
More Blog Entries:
Massachusetts Lawmakers Hoping to Drum Up More Interest in Proposed Cell Phone Ban, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 18, 2012