Phone use must be hands-free behind the wheel starting Sunday in Massachusetts

Hands-free phone driving

BOSTON (WPRI) — Drivers in Massachusetts will have to use hands-free devices for smartphones while behind the wheel starting Sunday, but the hefty fines for still holding the phone won’t kick in for a few weeks.

Massachusetts lawmakers approved the hands-free requirement for driving in November after several years of bills that passed the state Senate, but not the House.

State police said last weekend they will be deploying various types of vehicles to monitor roads and enforce the law in hopes of cutting down on distracted driving.

The law says phones will have to be held in a mounting or holder, and drivers can make only one swipe or tap at a time.

From February 23 through March 31, violators will only face a warning from officers. Starting April 1, a first offense will result in a $100 fine, $250 for the second, and $500 for each offense after that.

In Rhode Island, a hands-free phone law went into effect in June 2018.

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