Senate Poised to Ban Hand-Held Phone Use by Drivers

(File photograph)

The Senate next Thursday plans to take up legislation banning the hand-held use of cell phones while driving as part of legislation targeting distracted driving.

The State House News Service reports a Senate committee on Thursday morning released a distracted driving bill that would prohibit anyone operating a vehicle from viewing video content and touching or holding a mobile electronic device, except to perform a single tap or swipe to activate or deactivate hands-free mode or a navigation device.

Fines for violating the ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving would start at $100 for a first offense, and escalate to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense. Subsequent violations would be considered surchargeable offenses for the purpose of calculating insurance costs.

The legislation, if it were to clear both branches and be signed by Gov. Charlie Baker, would make Massachusetts the seventeenth state to ban hand-held cell phone use behind the wheel.

Gov. Baker has come around to support the idea of banning hand-held cell phone use while driving, and filed his own legislation in January that would have also allowed police to pull over drivers for not wearing their seat belts.

Comments are closed.