“Tell Them You Mean Business”

Exploring Driver Safety Laws in Massachusetts

One of the most important factors when it comes to keeping drivers safe is taking steps to prevent risky driving behaviors. There are many driving behaviors that can put people in danger, including texting and driving or driving when you are too young and inexperienced to make safe choices. To prevent some of the most dangerous driving behaviors, legislatures routinely pass laws that are designed to shape driver behavior.

Every year for the past 10 years, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have looked at how each state is doing as far as passing safety laws. The Advocates identified 15 different recommended laws and gave states credit for each of the different laws that had been passed. Our Boston car accident lawyers have taken a look at how the state of Massachusetts measures up.

Driver Safety Regulations in Massachusetts
According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Massachusetts has passed 11 of the 15 laws that the Advocates believe that every state should have in place. Although the state has passed many of the recommended laws, it received only a Yellow rating. Yellow is a rating given to states that have taken some key steps towards imposing safety regulations but that haven't quite done enough yet to ensure driver safety.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety also provided details on what laws Massachusetts has passed and what laws the state is lacking:

  • Massachusetts is lacking in a primary seat belt law. This is a law that would permit police to pull over a driver for failure to buckle up, even absent any other legal violations.
  • Massachusetts has a mandatory helmet law for all motorcycle riders. The state gets credit for this law.
  • Massachusetts mandates the use of booster seats and gets credit for its law.
  • The state gets credit for its law limiting learner's permits to teens 16 and older.
  • The state also gets credit for its law mandating a six month holding period for new teen drivers.
  • Massachusetts requires supervised driving, and so gets credit for the category of requiring between 30 and 50 hours of supervised driving.
  • The state does not get credit on the issue of imposing night time restrictions on teen drivers nor on the issue of imposing restrictions on the number of passengers that may be in the car with a teen driver.
  • Massachusetts has a cell phone restriction in place for teens and gets credit for it.
  • The state gets no credit because it does not require ignition interlock devices for every offender found guilty of driving while impaired.
  • Massachusetts does get credit for its laws on mandatory BAC testing; for its open container laws; and for its child endangerment laws related to impaired driving.
  • The state gets credit for its all driver ban on text messaging.

Massachusetts, therefore, does have many important safety laws in place. With just a few more simple regulations, the state could significantly improve the safety of all drivers on the road.

If you’ve been injured, call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.