Massachusetts lawmakers crack down on distracted driving

1 in 6 teen crashes involve distracted driving

BOSTON (WWLP) – Distracted driving is becoming more of an issue now than ever – especially among teenagers. It is already illegal in Massachusetts to text while driving, but Chicopee State Representative Joe Wagner believes the law needs to be strengthened. He said “we have a law that bans texting and prohibits texting. It is unenforceable, in my view, if we allow people to hold cell phones.”

Rep. Wagner filed a bill that would prohibit people from using a cell phone in the car, unless it is through a hands-free device such as Bluetooth.

State lawmakers held a briefing on Wednesday highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. According to AAA, more than half of all teen crashes are caused by distractions at the wheel ranging anywhere from using a cell phone to talking with a passenger. House Transportation Committee Vice Char Michael Finn told 22News that state laws need to be updated as technology improves.

“I’d like to see something get passed. Again, it’s a safety issue. It’s about making the streets of the Commonwealth safe for everybody,” said Finn.

Distracted driving does not always involve a cell phone. Anything that could take a person’s eye off the road for a few seconds could mean life or death.

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