Reminder for all mass drivers

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  1. #1

    Reminder for all mass drivers

    Didn't even know about this until I went to check my fastlane statement

    MassDOT Reminder: Safe Driving Law

    Governor Deval Patrick in July signed legislation that bans text-messaging for all Massachusetts drivers, prohibits junior operators from using cell phones and institutes new license renewal procedures for mature drivers, among other provisions.
    The Safe Driving Law becomes effective in Massachusetts on September 30, 2010. The law creates a series of new violations, which the RMV Division, MassDOT IT staff and the Merit Rating Board are working to program and implement.

    These new violations include:

    1. Use of a Mobile Phone by a Junior Operator- Civil Offense- No insurance surcharge

    (Reporting an emergency is the only exception. Drivers are encouraged to pull over and stop the vehicle to report the emergency.)
    • 1st offense-$100 assessment 60-day license suspension and attitudinal course
    • 2nd offense-$250 assessment 180-day suspension
    • 3rd or subsequent offense-$500 assessment 1-year suspension
    • $100 reinstatement fee for any suspension
    • Knowledge and road test required for reinstatement

    2. Use of a Mobile Phone by a Public Transport Motor Vehicle Operator- Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge

    • $500 assessment each offense

    3. Use of a Mobile Phone by a Public Transport Non-Motor Vehicle Operator- Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge (MBTA Trolley)

    • $500 assessment each violation



    4. Improper Use of a Mobile Phone by Operators 18 and Over- Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge (One hand must be on the steering wheel at all times and no use of device can interfere with driving)

    • 1st offense-$35 assessment
    • 2nd offense in 12 months-$75 assessment
    • 3rd offense in 12 months-$150 assessment

    5. Sending/Reading Text Messages- Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge

    (Operators cannot use any mobile electronic device to write, send, or read an electronic message including text messages, emails, instant messages or accessing the internet while operating a vehicle. Mobile electronic device includes mobile telephone, text messaging device, paging device, PDA, laptop computer, electronic equipment capable of playing video games or video disks or can take/transmit digital photographs or can receive a television broadcast. Mobile Device does not include any equipment permanently or temporarily installed to provide navigation, emergency assistance or rear seat video entertainment. Law applies even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.)
    • 1st offense-$100 assessment
    • 2nd offense-$250 assessment
    • 3rd or subsequent offense-$500 assessment

    6. Negligent Operation & Injury from Mobile Phone Use- Criminal Offense- Insurance surcharge

    JOL Suspensions
    • 1st offense-180-day suspension
    • 2nd or subsequent offense within 3 years-1 year suspension
    • $100 reinstatement fee

    Over-18 suspensions
    • 1st offense-60-day suspension
    • 2nd or subsequent offense within 3 years-1 year suspension
    • $100 reinstatement fee

    Elder Driving Provisions

    License applicants, either for initial licensure in Massachusetts or license renewal, age 75 and older must conduct the transaction in a RMV office. Use of the Internet for license renewals will no longer be allowed for these applicants. All applicants, regardless of age, that obtain or renew a license in a branch office are required to undergo a vision test or provide a vision screening certificate to complete the transaction.

    Medical Fitness Reporting

    Health care providers and law enforcement may report operators believed not to be physically or mentally capable of safely operating due to cognitive or functional impairment
    • May request RMV to seek medical evaluation of operator
    • Requests can’t be based on operator age or solely on diagnosis of condition or impairment-must be on the effect either has on ability to drive
    • Good faith belief of impairment based on-
    o Personal observation
    o Physical evidence
    o Law enforcement investigation

    I didn't know they passed the elder bill, guess i've been on the moon, so much for age discrimination?
    Last edited by skiNEwhere; Sep 4, 2010 at 2:15 PM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    I doubt many folks will be against texting while driving but I am AMAZED that the politicians of MA got their act together, put their own careers in jeopardy, and passed the elder driver law. I hope they are tough on it, too. That might save more accidents than the texting bill.
    -Steve
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  3. #3
    I had a conversation about this just yesterday, but the gentleman in question is a NH resident. His doctor put into his medical records that he should NOT be driving. Because of HIPAA regulations, however, this information can't be forwarded to anyone in the DMV. The issue has to be handled by family members. Perhaps if this goes well in MA, it will be considered by NH.
    ~ Marie
    "Decide what to be, and go be it."



  4. #4
    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WakeboardMom View Post
    I had a conversation about this just yesterday, but the gentleman in question is a NH resident. His doctor put into his medical records that he should NOT be driving. Because of HIPAA regulations, however, this information can't be forwarded to anyone in the DMV. The issue has to be handled by family members. Perhaps if this goes well in MA, it will be considered by NH.
    No physician is going to screw with HIPAA by releasing any medical information to the DMV. The fines and jail time can be $1.5 million and 10 years. Anybody who got ratted out could also turn around and file a civil suit. Malpractice insurance doesn't cover willful disregard of the law.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I hope they are tough on it, too.
    Unlikely IMHO. It will most likely be handled the way seat-belt law is; You won't be stopped/checked, but if there is another incident or violation, the charge may be added. That's too bad because it will only be enforced when an accident occurs.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  6. #6
    hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I doubt many folks will be against texting while driving but I am AMAZED that the politicians of MA got their act together, put their own careers in jeopardy, and passed the elder driver law. I hope they are tough on it, too. That might save more accidents than the texting bill.
    Last time I went to RMV to renew my license there was an elderly lady in front who did not appear to have the mental capability to drive (yes it was obvious). Fortunately, she failed the eye test.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hammer View Post
    Last time I went to RMV to renew my license there was an elderly lady in front who did not appear to have the mental capability to drive (yes it was obvious).
    I've met a few teens like that
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  8. #8
    hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billski View Post
    I've met a few teens like that
    I've instructed a teen like that...

  9. #9
    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billski View Post
    Unlikely IMHO. It will most likely be handled the way seat-belt law is; You won't be stopped/checked, but if there is another incident or violation, the charge may be added. That's too bad because it will only be enforced when an accident occurs.
    The difference is that people driving while distracted tend to weave around. If a cop sees somebody who can't keep it between the lines, he can pull them over. There is already adequate law to write them a ticket. The cop could pile on by heaping a cell phone violation on top of the other laws being broken.

    I don't think this particular law will ever be enforcable in court. There is no way to prove that you were texting on your cell phone unless they confiscate your phone or get a court order to get your cellular provider to release all of your call detail records. Nobody is going to do that for a routine traffic citation.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    The difference is that people driving while distracted tend to weave around. If a cop sees somebody who can't keep it between the lines, he can pull them over. There is already adequate law to write them a ticket. The cop could pile on by heaping a cell phone violation on top of the other laws being broken.

    I don't think this particular law will ever be enforcable in court. There is no way to prove that you were texting on your cell phone unless they confiscate your phone or get a court order to get your cellular provider to release all of your call detail records. Nobody is going to do that for a routine traffic citation.
    Reminds me of the people who get tagged for flashing their lights to warn of speed trap up ahead.
    "I'm giving you a ticket for defective lights"
    "But officer, my lights are fine"
    "OK, if that's true I'll give you a summons for interfering with law enforcement, which is a much higher penalty."

    (or cite you for having emergency vehicle lighting which allows flashing.)
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

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