While many driving laws are consistent across the country, states also have the right to enact regulations specific to their area. When you are driving in a new place, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road for that location. This article will tell you what to expect from the traffic and driving laws in Massachusetts. It will also let you know what to expect if any of those laws are violated.
Use of Cell Phones
At this time, Massachusetts does not have a statewide law regarding cell phone use while driving, with the exception of school bus drivers. However, the state does allow local entities to enact their own legislation, so you might find particular cities enforcing a no hands rule regarding cell phone use. Currently, the only city that has enacted cell phone legislation in Massachusetts is Brookline. It is important to be aware that rules can change from city to city, so keep your eyes open for signs on the road that would indicate what the current rules might be.
Drunk Driving Laws
Massachusetts also has some of the toughest drunk driving regulations around. First time offenders can face a stiff monetary penalty, jail time and suspension of their license for a full year. Driving a car with a passenger younger than 14 will incur even stiffer damages. Second offenses result in even higher penalties, more jail time and a two-year license suspension. You might also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense. Driving with a child under the age of 14 will result in child endangerment charges as well.
Massachusetts also requires more insurance coverage than many other states. In Massachusetts, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $20,000 bodily injury liability with a $40,000 limit. The minimum required for property damage liability is $5000. Drivers must also invest in uninsured motorist bodily injury to protect them in the event they are in an accident with an uninsured driver. The minimum requirement is $20,000 with a $40,000 limit. Finally, drivers must include personal injury protection, or PIP, in their insurance policy, with a minimum amount of $8000.
Understanding the specific traffic laws in Massachusetts will help you be a safer driver in this state. It is important to know the rules of the road wherever you drive so you can avoid tickets and accidents while traveling through or making a new city your home.