Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In the News: distracted driving legislation effective February; additional electric vehicle charging stations being installed

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts drivers will soon face fines for virtually all cellphone usage behind the wheel after Gov. Charlie Baker signed an anti-distracted driving bill into law Monday. 
Starting in three months, motorists will be prohibited from using a handheld electronic device while driving except for a single touch or tap to activate hands-free mode. Voice commands will still be allowed, as will viewing a map on a device mounted to the windshield, dashboard or console, but all other uses are banned. 
State law has forbidden texting while driving since 2010, but because other actions such as dialing a phone number were not covered, police have found it difficult to enforce and distracted driving has proliferated. 
“When a driver on an electronic device hits something or someone, that’s not an accident,” Baker said during a crowded signing ceremony in the Statehouse Library, joined by advocates and families of victims killed in collisions. “It’s a crash that was avoidable, so this is a very proud day for Massachusetts where we join the other states in New England and do more to help prevent further injuries and horrible tragedies.”
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"New electric vehicle charging stations will soon be installed at the Framingham Logan Express and the Franklin Village Shopping Center. 
The Baker-Polito administration, using $2 million in state funds received as settlement money in connection with the 2015 Volkswagen emission scandal, has awarded MassEVIP grants to 49 entities for the installation of additional electric vehicle charging stations. 
The DEP made the announcement in a press release last week. 
“By putting the infrastructure in place to ensure the reliability of electric vehicles and encourage electric vehicle adoption, we can lower transportation costs for families and businesses, enhance the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness and improve the environment,” said Gov. Charlie Baker said in the release."
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