Here it is Thanksgiving Day 2019, and I thought I’d post these thoughts before sitting down for dinner. Actually, I’ve made it a practice to contemplate on what I’m grateful for almost every day of the year that I can: It’s a smart habit to form.
On a professional level, as a Massachusetts car accident attorney, I’m grateful that – finally – a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving has been signed into law. I’ve been publicly advocating for this for a few years now, and Gov. Charlie Baker finally signed the measure into law this past Monday. Very briefly, the new law’s provisions:
- Use of hand-held electronic devices while driving a motor vehicle – importantly, whether cell phones or otherwise – is banned beginning February 23, 2020. That’s 90 days after the law was signed by the governor, but the law provides a grace period through to March 31, 2020, which means that drivers who are cited for violation of the law prior to March 31, will receive a warning, not a fine. As a Boston injuries attorney who has seen far too many preventable injuries caused by driver cell phone use, I thought that this additional grace period was unnecessary, and represented too much of a politics-based concession to the members of the Flat Earth Society who claimed that drivers would “need time to adjust”. My immediate response: Please. No further comment needed. At any rate, from April 1, 2020 forward, violators will be hit with fines, as discussed further below. Aside from my observation above about the unnecessary ‘grace period’, inside each of the additional bullets below are my thoughts as an attorney who deals every day with accidents and injuries that are caused by Massachusetts distracted driving accidents.