Stricter distracted driving laws proposed

MGNonline

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– You probably see it often, drivers distracted by their cell phone.

“I notice it a lot, you know I’m a cyclist, so I’m always out on my bike on the road and like, people just literally almost hit me everyday. It’s like, and I look up at them and their heads not even looking at the road,” Andy Officer, from Northampton, told 22News.

While texting while driving is an ongoing safety issue for police officers, parents, and state leaders, lawmakers are now considering a bill that would make the distracted driving law stricter.

The way the Massachusetts law is right now, if you’re caught writing, reading or sending a text message or email while driving the car you could face a fine of up to 100 dollars, but the new proposal is looking to change that fine to 500 dollars.

That may be a shocking number to some, but one some Springfield drivers say might actually make people put the phone down.

“I agree that’s it a lot of money but I think that it will really work to enforce the law,” Matt Pellegrino, from East Longmeadow, said.

“I know I wouldn’t want to pay 500, so I would definitely obey it,” Danielle Drewniek, from Chicopee, told 22News.

The proposal would also restrict cell phone use behind the wheel beyond texting and email. It would extend that rule to any and all hand held cell phone use while driving, including talking on the phone and using your smart phone’s GPS system

Right now Massachusetts is one of 22 states looking to ban hand held cell phones while driving. There are 14 states with that ban already in place including neighboring Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

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