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“Hands free” phone bill overwhelmingly passes in Massachusetts House of Representatives

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The Massachusetts House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed their version of a “hands-free” cell phone bill.

The vote passed Wednesday by a 155-2 measure.

“Hands-free mode”, by definition in the bill, is a mode of use of a mobile electronic device by which a user only engages in voice communication and receives audio from the device without touching, holding or otherwise manually manipulating the device; provided, however, that the user may perform a single tap or swipe to activate or deactivate the hands-free mode feature.

“The bill and long-awaited vote mark a significant step for the Commonwealth moving it closer to joining 16 other states, including each of its immediate neighbors, that have passed similar proposals,” stated Massachusetts State Representative Alan Silvia.

According to the House bill, the law would not apply to public safety personnel or emergency first responders using a mobile electronic device while operating an emergency services vehicle and engaged in the performance of their duties.

A violation would be punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, by a fine of $250 for a second offense and by a fine of $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

The bill would take effect 90 days after passage and an operator would be issued a warning for a first violation prior to December 31st, 2019.

The Senate is expected to take up their own version of a “hands-free” bill in June.

H3793 hands free bill house
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