Massachusetts’s new “hands-free” law went into effect on Feb. 23 and law enforcement throughout the state now have extra patrols on roadways ready to enforce the measure, reports CBS Boston.
Drivers can expect to see troopers more frequently, especially during busy commuting times. Some cruisers will include two troopers, allowing one to serve as a "spotter" for motorists who do not comply with the new restriction, reports WGBH.
The new law prohibits drivers from virtually all cell phone use while driving. Cell phone use is banned even while motorists are stopped at red lights or waiting in traffic.
However, under the measure, drivers are allowed to make a single tap or swipe to activate a device's hands-free mode, and they must place a phone on a dashboard- or windshield-mounted rack to use it for GPS navigation. Those under 18 cannot use a phone in any capacity while driving, note reports.
The state is providing drivers with an adjustment period; meaning violators of the new law will only receive a warning and will not be subject to penalties for approximately the first five weeks.
However, starting April 1, first-time violators will be fined $100. A second offense will cost motorists a $250 fine and a mandatory distracted driving educational program. Drivers who commit a third offense will be hit with a $500 fine, an insurance surcharge, and a mandatory distracted driving educational program, reports CBS Boston.