BOSTON (CBS) – Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law Monday afternoon that will make holding a cell phone while driving illegal in Massachusetts. But it won't go into effect right away.
The long-delayed distracted driving bill was officially signed in a 3 p.m. ceremony at the State House. The new law prohibits hand-held cell phone use entirely behind the wheel.
Under this law, people will no longer be able to make calls while driving, unless they do it hands-free. Drivers can still view maps generated by a navigation system as long as the electronic device is mounted on the car's windshield or dashboard.
There will be a $100 fine for the first offense, a $250 fine for a second and fines of $500 for subsequent offenses. Police will not be allowed to take drivers' cell phones under the new law.
And to make sure there's no racial profiling, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will have to collect data on each traffic citation.
The new law will go into effect in 90 days. Distracted drivers will get a grace period with just a warning until March 31, 2020. After that day, the fines will start.
Massachusetts is the last state in New England with a distracted driving law.
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