Ban on texting passes House

By Denebola
Published: February 2010

On February 4, Massachusetts House lawmakers approved an amendment that proposes to ban drivers from using any kind of cell phones, with the exception of hands-free models with voice-activated dialing. The amendment was attached to a bill meant to crack down on distracted drivers.

If the amendment passes, it will ban drivers from sending, receiving, and reading of text messages and emails as well as ban all use of cell phones by drivers under 18, except to make emergency calls. Furthermore, all bus and train drivers, public or private, would also be banned from using cell phones.

Drivers found texting while driving will face a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second, and $500 for all subsequent violations. Junior operators would lose their license for 180 days for the first offense and for a year for all subsequent.

Denebola agrees with the reasoning behind this amendment, which is that drivers’€especially those who are new to the road and those responsible for the safety of multiple passengers’€cannot afford to be distracted from the road. While some would argue that cell phone usage is the driver’s personal prerogative, the rate of accidents caused by distracted drivers is high enough to justify the passage of such legislation.

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