It’s been a long time coming, but it is now illegal to send or read text messages while driving in Massachusetts.
In a law that took effect Thursday, drivers under age 18 are also banned from any cell phone usage while behind the wheel, except during emergencies.
The law also applies to red lights — if you’re the driver of a car, you can’t text.
Breaking down the law, drivers may not:
- Type/send text messages
- Read received text messages
- Check email on their Blackberry, iPhone or other smartphone
- 18-year-old drivers may not use cell phones at all.
Drivers must also have at least one hand on the wheel at all times.
Junior operators caught using their phones face stiff penalties — $100 fine and 60-day license suspension for first offense, $250/180 days for second, and $500/1 year for subsequent offenses.