Fines for Distracted Drivers Begin in Massachusetts

State and local police had only been issuing warnings for violators of the distracted driving law that went into effect on Feb. 23

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The grace period for Massachusetts' distracted driving law has officially ended, meaning drivers caught using their phones while driving can now be fined.

Massachusetts' law prohibiting the use of any electronic device, including mobile telephones, went into effect on Feb. 23. Under the law, drivers cannot read, write or hold a device unless it is in hands-free mode.

Since February, state and local police were only issuing warnings to violators.

As of Wednesday, however, drivers will be fined for violating the law.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts have taken aim at distracted driving with a new law that forced drivers to go hands-free. Here is everything you need to know.

The first offense is a $100 fine; the second offense is a $250 fine and mandatory completion of a distracted driving program; and the third offense is a $500 fine, mandatory completion of a distracted driving program and an insurance surcharge.

Drivers under age 18 are not allowed to use phones at all, according to the law.

Two weeks after the law went into effect, Massachusetts State Police said they had issued nearly 600 warnings to distracted drivers.

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