Texting while driving in Massachusetts has been prohibited since 2010. Yet, on any given day, you probably come across many people on the roadways who are still doing so. Are Massachusetts drivers simply too addicted to their electronic devices to comply with this law? Do we perhaps think that it’s harmless? Or, do we simply forget that the law exists? The Boston Globe performed an analysis of tickets and violations last year, and the results are quite astonishing.
Tickets Issued to Motorists for Texting While Driving in Massachusetts
During the full year the law was enacted, we would expect the number of tickets issued to be high as people were just getting used to the new law. You would think that the numbers would decrease over time. However, the exact opposite is true. The number of tickets have risen steadily each year. Here’s the chart prepared by the Boston Globe. It’s one of 9 graphics they prepared summarizing citations over the years for this offense.
According to that same article, men commit the offense more than women. Additionally, white drivers make up 77.4% of the tickets issued. Drivers under 30 also represent the majority of citations. Lastly, most tickets were issued between 3-6pm.
Penalties for Texting While Driving in MA
The penalties are quite steep for texting while driving in MA. It’s $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second, and $500 for the third. Additionally, your auto insurance rates can increase at the next renewal period, costing you even more money over the next years.
If the financial penalties for texting and driving aren’t quite enough to change your habits, consider these stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, 3477 people were killed and 391,0000 were injured as the result of distracted driving nationally. Taking your eyes off the road to read or send a text message could kill you, a passenger in your vehicle, passengers in another vehicle, or pedestrians on the road. Is that text message worth the risk?