SECTION 1. Section 13 of said chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “or”, in line 6, the following word:- hands-free.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 90 is hereby amended by striking out section 13B and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 13B. (a) No operator of a motor vehicle shall use a mobile electronic device, unless the person is using the device in a hands-free mode, and shall not touch or hold the mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function. No operator of a motor vehicle shall use a mobile electronic device or other device capable of accessing the internet to compose, send or read an electronic message or to input information by hand into a global positioning system or navigation device while operating such vehicle. An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a mobile electronic device to, or in the immediate proximity of the operator’s head while operating such vehicle shall be presumed to be in violation of this section. For the purposes of this section, an operator shall not be considered to be operating a motor vehicle if the vehicle is stationary and not located in a part of the roadway intended for travel.
(b) Whoever violates this section shall be punished 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.
(c) It shall be an affirmative defense for an operator to produce documentary or other evidence that the use of a mobile electronic device that is the basis of the alleged violation was made for emergency purposes. For the purpose of this section, “emergency purposes” shall mean that the operator used the mobile electronic device to communicate with another person to report: (i) that the motor vehicle was disabled; (ii) that medical attention or assistance was required; (iii) that police intervention, fire department or other emergency service was necessary for the personal safety of the operator or a passenger; or (iv) that a disabled vehicle or an accident was present in the roadway.
(d) A penalty under this section shall not be a surchargeable offense under section 113B of chapter 175.
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