WEST BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – As of Sunday, Feb. 23, drivers in Massachusetts can no longer drive with a phone in their hands for any reason.
Every day, nationwide, 1,000 people are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. According to a new Massachusetts state law, driving with a phone in your hand will be illegal.READ MORE: State Treasury Releases Latest Unclaimed Property Listings, Including 49,000 New Properties
According to West Bridgewater Police Officer Tim Pope, distracted driving is all around us. “There’s another one; she’s on the phone, too,” he said gesturing to a woman driving. “They think hands-free is holding their phone and talking on speaker. That’s obviously not something you can do.”
Drivers will need to connect their phones to their cars’ Bluetooth system. If your car doesn’t have Bluetooth, mount the phone as close as possible to eye level and use the phone’s speaker system.READ MORE: COVID Booster Shots: FDA Advisers To Vote Friday On Pfizer's 3rd Dose
“It’s gonna have to be secure. So you’re not gonna have as many people holding it and looking down,” said West Bridgewater Police Chief Vic Flaherty. “As you look down and look up, you can go a football field or two. It’ll stop people from holding their devices.”
So, as of Sunday, if you’re not hands-free, it will be illegal. And don’t try looking down at your phone. Police can spot it.
“You can see exactly where they’re looking. And it’s not the road. It’s down at their lap,” Pope said.MORE NEWS: UMass Amherst Brings Back Football Tailgate With COVID Restrictions
There will be a one month grace period to help drivers get used to the new law.