FILED ON: 4/28/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3660



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court



An Act requiring the hands-free use of mobile telephones while driving.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 13 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by deleting in line 6 the words “mobile telephone” and inserting in place thereof the following words:-  hands-free mobile telephone.

SECTION 2. Section 13B of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting the following subsection:-

(a ½ ) No operator of a motor vehicle shall use a mobile telephone or mobile electronic device: (i) for voice communications, unless said telephone or device is being used as a hands-free mobile telephone or to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function; or (ii) to access social media or use any camera functions, including video calls.  It shall be an affirmative defense for an operator under this section to produce evidence that the use of a mobile telephone that is the basis of the alleged violation was in the case of an emergency. For the purpose of this paragraph, an emergency shall mean that the operator needed to communicate with another to report any of the following: (1) that the vehicle or vessel was disabled; (2) that medical attention or assistance was required on the vehicle or vessel; (3) that police intervention, fire department or other emergency services was necessary for the personal safety of a passenger or to otherwise ensure the safety of the public; or (4) that a disabled vehicle or an accident was present on a roadway.