Mass. law enforcement officials remind drivers about new hands free law taking effect

ROCKLAND, MASS. (WHDH) - Next week a law meant to prevent distracted driving is taking effect in Massachusetts.

The hands free driving law makes it illegal for drivers to hold their phones while they are driving in their vehicles.

Police said they are ready to issue citations for those who break the law.

Drivers will be charged $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second and they will also be required to take driving safety courses.

The fine for a third offense is a $500. Insurance for that driver will go up and they will be required to enroll in a Distracted Driving Educational Course.

Distracted driving kills on average nine people a day and injures thousands across the country.

State Police Lt. Christopher Mason said his message to drivers is, “Keep your hands on the wheels and your eyes on the road.”

“We will begin rolling out extra patrols in each State Police troop across Massachusetts to identify distracted drivers,” Mason said.

AAA Northeast CEO John Galvin weighed in, saying, “We’re all in danger when people are distracted and are paying attention to their phones instead of paying attention to the wheel.”

Advocates of the bill, including Jerry Cibley who lost his 18-year-old son who was on his phone while driving in 2008, say they are finally glad this law is taking effect.

Cibley said the victims, including his son, would be proud.

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