Governor Baker began his second term with a wide-ranging traffic safety proposal. According to the news media, the governor cited such facts as 1,820 people died and 15,662 seriously injured on the Commonwealth’s roads between 2012 and 2016. He also stated that traffic safety here in Massachusetts would be top priority. This is good news for all drivers, but those who have inconsistent driving habits will likely find the governor’s solutions for the issue a difficult pill to swallow.
Big issues include:
Smart phones: The danger of drivers distracted by their phone is well known. The governor’s proposal would ban the use of handheld phones. Texting is currently outlawed and teen drivers are forbidden from talking on their phone while driving, but safety advocates want a complete ban on phone use. The handheld ban also enables law enforcement to better enforce the no texting rule.
Seat belt use: Law enforcement wants more power to enforcement the state’s seat belt laws. Officers would be able to pull over drivers for not wearing a seat belt, instead of current laws where a ticket is issued if the driver is pulled over for another reason, such as speeding.
Interlock ignition devices: Instead of punishing multiple-OUI offenders, this Breathalzyer-like device would go on the vehicles of first time violators with hardship licenses, thus adding additional expense and inconvenience to the first offense punishment.
More traffic stops mean more violations
The change in cell phone use and seat belt laws will likely lead to more drivers being pulled over. This in turn leads to more cited violations and additional expense to Massachusetts drivers. These changes make it more important than ever that drivers protect their rights by consulting an attorney who handles traffic violations and OUIs. The issue of multiple tickets does not just represent fines; it also involves increased levels of punishment from the tickets. An attorney can help drivers fight charges and ensure that the penalty fits the violation.