• Breaking: Hands-Free Passes in MA Senate

    By Marie McGrath | Posted Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Landslide vote for Hands-Free Legislation today as the Senate passes bill 40-0.

Breaking: Massachusetts Senate has voted 40 to 0 to approve Bill S.2216, An Act Preventing Distracted Driving, which bans the use of electronic devices behind the wheel save for a single tap or swipe to enable a hands-free mode.

Before the vote, Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka recognized and offered condolences on behalf of the Commonwealth to the victims of distracted driving and their families present in the Senate Gallery.

Families of distracted driving victims in the Senate Gallery for the landslide vote included Rich and Anna Cheshire Levitan, who lost their daughter Merritt to a distracted driver in July 2013, Tom Brannelly who lost his daughter Katie to a distracted driver in June 2013 and Jerry Cibley and Jeri Katz, who lost their son Jonathan to a distracted driving crash in 2010.

“Our family would like to thank Bill S.2216 sponsor Senator Mark Montigny for his tireless work to get this life-saving bill passed,” said Rich Levitan, President of TextLess Live More. “Senator Motigny has worked for 15 years to make this day happen. As the father of a daughter lost to a distracted driver, we are forever grateful. We also want to thank Senator Joseph Boncore, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, for meeting with our family a year ago last summer, to hear our personal story, where he pledged his support.”

(Boston – Massachusetts State House) Richard Levitan, Anna Cheshire Levitan, Senator Mark Montigny, Ally Blanck, Deputy General Counsel and Deputy Legislative Director at the Massachusetts State Senate, Tom Brannelly

Bill S.2216 will now move into a conference committee.

Today’s vote comes only three weeks after the Massachusetts House approved their own version of a distracted driving bill, passing Bill H 3793 on Wednesday, May 15, voting 155 to 2 in favor.

Massachusetts Governor Baker and Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo have both expressed support for Hands Free.