In addition to the text messaging ban for truckers and bus drivers announced by the Transportation Department last week, Massachusetts may soon join the 19 states that have outlawed text messaging behind the wheel for all drivers. The Boston Globe reports that a key legislative committee unanimously approved a bill last Thursday and it could reach the House floor within weeks.
If the bill passes, it would prohibit operators of a motor vehicle from using a cell phone or other electronic device from writing, sending, or reading a text message while driving. Fines would start at $100 for the first offense and range up to $500 for the third offense. If a driver is found to have been text messaging when they caused a car crash, the law would treat is as reckless driving and the offender would be subject to up to two years in jail.
The House approved a text messaging while driving ban in 2008, but the bill died before it reached the governor’s desk. Governor Deval Patrick and US secretary of transportation Ray LaHood both support a ban on text messaging while driving.
Source: State inches ahead on banning texting while driving, Boston Globe, January 29, 2010
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