Showing posts with label distracted driving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label distracted driving. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2020

“I kind of got hooked on the idea of using an emoji”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"Jami Pandiscio’s warning against texting while on the road will be hard for drivers to miss.

The Franklin teenager’s public service announcement design will be on billboards nationwide through the end of the year, after she won a national contest through Project Yellow Light.

“I saw some texting and driving ... in high school,” said Pandiscio, 18, in explaining why she entered the contest. “I’d constantly remind people to put their phones down, and I wanted to make a real difference, nationwide.”

Project Yellow Light was started to honor Hunter Garner, after the then-16-year-old and his friend died in a car crash in 2007, according to the program’s website. This is the ninth year of the contest, which is aimed at cutting down on distracted driving."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“I kind of got hooked on the idea of using an emoji”
“I kind of got hooked on the idea of using an emoji”

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.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"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."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Governor Baker has some reading to do

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A ban on flavored tobacco and tax on e-cigarettes, a $1.5 billion public education funding overhaul, and a new attempt to crack down on distracted driving all landed on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk as lawmakers wrapped up their formal business of the year.

His immediate response to all three proposals: no major objections but he wants to read the bills.

Baker has supported parts of each bill or filed his own similar versions, but it remains unclear whether the governor will sign any of the legislation sent to him, return something with a proposed amendment or veto a proposal. In separate public comments Thursday, Baker declined to outline his plans explicitly."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Student Opportunity Act

Distracted Driving

Flavored Tobacco Ban

The Senate also passed a plastic bag ban on their last day of work in this session but it still needs to be reconciled with the House version before going to the Governor.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

On Wednesday (Nov 20), Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, along with their colleagues in the House and Senate, passed legislation to ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices in vehicles unless they are in hands-free mode.

“There are too many heartbreaking stories of those who lost loved ones to distracted driving, and so I’m proud the Legislature has taken action to prevent future tragedies,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "This bill strikes a balance between increased enforcement and increased transparency, requiring more demographic data to be released to the public than ever before so that we can ensure this law is being enforced equitably across the Commonwealth. I'd like to thank Senator Boncore, Senator Brownsberger and all the conferees for their hard work to bring this final bill to fruition."

“We’re proud to have worked with our colleagues in the Senate to make Massachusetts roads safer and save lives by moving this policy forward,” said House Speaker DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I want to thank Chair Straus for his leadership on this issue and Leader Wagner, Chair Michlewitz and my colleagues in the House who worked so diligently to advance this legislation. Thank you also to our partners in the Senate for their work to advance these policies.”

“This bill will improve the safety of our streets and promote transparency in law enforcement,” said Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop), Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “Distracted driving is an epidemic, and this bill will save lives. Further, by updating our data collection laws, we will better understand and improve our communities’ interactions with public safety officials.”

“Today’s final bill is a major public safety improvement for the residents of Massachusetts,” said Rep. Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “Distracted driving has caused too many unnecessary tragedies and I am pleased that our state will now join the ranks of other states who have adopted a ban on holding a phone while driving.”

The bill defines hands-free mode as one that engages in voice communication with and receiving audio without touching, holding or otherwise manually manipulating a mobile electronic device. Law enforcement officials will issue warnings to drivers for first offenses of the new law until March 31, 2020.

Additionally, this legislation improves transparency in public safety by granting expanded access to traffic stop data. It has been 15 years since the last public report on traffic stop data; under this bill the state will be required to publish and analyze the data annually. Expanding access to this information improves transparency and improves public safety outcomes.

The bill will also:

• Allow for drivers to use mapping or navigation devices if they are affixed to the windshield, dashboard or central console or integrated into the vehicle and only involve a tap or a swipe;
• Exempt use of electronics in the case of an emergency and for first responders if they are using the devices as part of their duties;
• Penalize drivers with $100 fine for the first offence, $250 fine and safety course for the second offence and $500 fine and surcharge for third and subsequent offences;
• Expand data collection of identifying characteristics including age, race and gender and location when police issue a uniform citation;
• Hold law enforcement agencies accountable, if data suggests those jurisdictions may be engaging in racial profiling, by requiring them to collect data on all traffic stops for a one-year period and provide implicit bias training;
• Require the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPPS) to publish data online annually
• Mandate EOPSS to contract with a research institution to conduct an annual analysis of the data collected.
• Direct the EOPSS Secretary to hold three public hearings across the Commonwealth annually to present the findings of the annual report and analysis and field public testimony; and
• Create a public awareness campaign informing and educating drivers on the dangers of using technological devices while driving.

“This new law will mean behavior changes for most of us, but I believe that most of us are ready to make the changes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont). “It is time we all start driving more safely by renouncing cell phone contact.”

“The hands-free legislation enacted today will save lives and make the Commonwealth’s roads safer while allowing for greater enforcement of the state’s ban on texting while driving, which represents the worst form of distracted driving,” said Assistant Majority Leader Representative Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee).

The bill now goes to the governor.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In the News: legislation on plastic bag ban and distracted driving maybe on Governor's desk this week

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Massachusetts Senate is now scheduled to vote on not one, but two consumer product bans on Wednesday in its final formal session of the year.

The chamber teed up legislation Monday that would forbid retail businesses from providing customers with single-use plastic bags, placing it on an agenda that already includes a House-approved bill banning flavored tobacco products and imposing a 75 percent tax on e-cigarettes.

Under the bill (S 459), stores in most cases could only offer recyclable paper bags or reusable bags for a fee of at least 10 cents at the point of sale. Retail establishments would be required to remit 5 cents for each paper bag sold to the state, which would in turn be directed to communities to fund bag ban enforcement, recycling promotion, waste reduction and other local environmental efforts."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Nine years after the state implemented a difficult-to-enforce ban on texting while driving, five months after legislative negotiators began the latest attempt to take phones out of drivers’ hands, and three and a half months after their original agreement collapsed, lawmakers Monday queued up a compromise bill that could reach the governor’s desk as soon as this week.

The legislation, filed with support from all six members of a conference committee tasked with resolving differences between the original House and Senate versions, would forbid the use of all handheld electronic devices behind the wheel, except for those in hands-free mode. Drivers could view electronic maps on a device mounted to the windshield, dashboard or center console, but they could not use their hands to interact with any electronic beyond a single touch or tap to active hands-free mode.

Motorists who violate the new regulation would face fines between $100 and $500, and third and subsequent offenses would be surchargeable for insurance purposes."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"serious outcomes ... can result from texting and driving"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Following the second texting-and-driving crash in town in less than a month, police turned to social media to illustrate the dangers of distracted driving. On Facebook Monday, they posted a dramatic video of a vehicle slamming into a utility pole.

The video (below), of a July 23 crash on Central Street (Route 62), is from the dashboard camera of a vehicle traveling behind the car that crashed. The video shows a car swerving off the road, striking the pole and overturning. As the shattered pole toppled into the road, the vehicle with the video swerved to avoid the downed wires.

The driver who hit the pole was issued a citation for texting while driving, according to Berlin police."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Berlin Police on Facebook

Original Berlin Police video link:[0]=68.ARDaS8yKet31mSQCcqemrNZGh_820HV245sHVH0znM6qT9qC7rjVk426AKwLbMGOT5ZNPWE4tJURld19DfKnu2lHwnhTbhZGWSKSUiAYgMrQh74Wx7b1wCDWcoie69jEXuARR0i0RTlmTss27SAAcSBrLJoo7za8jxo72GVEGFBJLJk89Uo20tp0xUdAss8K1o3E2UC_wRWXeqiRQHv_GfKCDOXI3kYVCuhabL9RHv9UKKVr8LVcu9m3dD3Kj2KOg16R9efu3ZNM8RDmUlGw9s0D8c3M6XDMH9JDC-vjoSNuSg1fYnfwSGgzcJ-v5fmLEjrF4wx9hNKZiCEfxZ5qqQ9ykk-xBLR3xyw&__tn__=-R

Saturday, August 10, 2019

"would ban virtually all hand-held electronic device use by drivers"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Conference committee leaders remained tight-lipped about their private negotiations on distracted-driving legislation a week after an apparent deal fell apart.

In separate interviews with the News Service, both state Rep. William Straus, D-Mattapoisett, and state Sen. Joseph Boncore, D-Winthrop, who together chair the six-member conference committee, said they are still discussing the long-sought bill but declined to put a timeline on when their work may be complete.

“We’re going to continue to discuss it between the chairs,” Boncore said. He described himself as “confident” that a deal would be reached soon, but noted talks would last “as long as it takes.”

Straus said the conferees “have never stopped being in communication with each other,” despite the collapse of an apparent consensus last week."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, August 2, 2019

"would require hands-free use of all mobile devices while driving"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"House and Senate Democrats failed to reach a compromise on long-discussed distracted driving legislation after a marathon session Wednesday, abandoning the issue about four hours after Senate President Karen Spilka said a resolution appeared imminent.

Both branches held sessions open from Wednesday afternoon until after midnight Thursday in what was expected to be the last day before a traditional August recess.

With a six-member conference committee privately negotiating the mobile device ban, Spilka told the News Service around 7:45 p.m. that there was an “agreement in principle” and that she expected the matter “should be done tonight.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

From MAHighway

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"allowing drivers only a single touch or tap to activate a device’s hands-free mode"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"As a handful of lawmakers began efforts Wednesday to resolve differences in hands-free driving safety bills passed by the House and Senate, they papered over past failures to get similar legislation over the finish line. 
Rep. William Straus, House chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, described the “legislative history” of the push — branches advancing bills but never agreeing on a final bill — as “secondary at this point” now that conference committee negotiators face the task of producing compromise legislation to effectively ban the use of cellphones and other handheld electronic devices behind the wheel. 
“We have stars aligned in terms of both chambers, leadership of both chambers and the governor himself who have all indicated a desire to deal with hands-free,” Straus said Wednesday as the conference committee began its first meeting in the Senate Reading Room. 
The six lawmakers tapped as negotiators — Straus, Reps. Joseph Wagner and Tim Whelan, and Sens. Joseph Boncore, William Brownsberger, and Dean Tran — kept the meeting open to the public for less than five minutes before voting to continue the discussions in private, a common move for conference committees."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The text for the House version is found

The text for the Senate version is found

Google Assistant manages your phone hands free
Google Assistant manages your phone hands free