Police Chief spreading the word about new law

Feb 8, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — Police Chief Mary Lyons is working to publicize information about the new Hands-free law which will go into affect on Feb. 23. 

Drivers will be prohibited from holding a cell phone, looking at a cell phone (unless it is for navigation or attached to the car) or using a cell phone, unless it is in hands-free mode. 

This mode allows drivers to use voice commands or hear phone audio without touching the phone, other than an initial tap or swipe which activates that mode. 

Drivers have some defense against the law in cases where it is used for an emergency, such as a situation where medical help is needed, there is an accident, a driver needs assistance from police, fire or emergency services, or the car is disabled. 

Although the law goes into effect on Feb. 23, police will not issue citations in relation to the law until March 31, 2020. 

After that time, the first offense will lead to a $100 fine, the second time will lead to a $250 fine and drivers will be required to complete a program, and a third offense will lead to a $500 fine and completion of a program. 

The law does not apply to emergency personnel using a phone while they are on duty. 

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