• News of MA Hands-Free Stall Out Spreads

    By TextLess Live More | Posted Friday, August 2nd, 2019

Legislature's failure to find compromise makes national and local headlines

Hands-Free is national topic of concern, not just in Commonwealth

Massachusetts lawmakers failure to find compromise on Hands-Free language before breaking for August recess makes local and national news.

On August 1, the Massachusetts legislature broke for August recess without passing Hands-Free, despite being in closed-door Conference Committee since June 20. Hands-Free passed unanimously in the MA Senate in June 40 – 0. The Massachusetts House voted 155-2 in May. Both the Massachusetts Senate President Karen E. Spilka and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo support Hands-Free. The stall out has infuriated Hands-Free supporters and families of victims in the Commonwealth and across the country.

Jennifer Smith, President of StopDistractions.org, a national advocacy group who works with victims’ families across the nation to end the devastating effects of distracted driving tragedies, was contacted by Boston press to make a statement on the Commonwealth’s stall out and the traction Hands-Free is gaining across the United States.

“Massachusetts is considered a national leader of civil rights. This is a national topic. Today the Commonwealth is being surpassed by countless other states, racing to protect the lives of their citizens.” – Jennifer Smith, President, StopDistractions.org

“Not passing Hands-Free is an infringement on the rights of all people who live or travel through Massachusetts – our rights to travel safely, rights for our children to be able to play without worry, our rights as parents to know that when our loved ones ride in a car, on a school bus or in any moving vehicle – or even on a bike – they are protected by the laws of Massachusetts,” Smith adds.

Hands-Free supporters are mobilizing for a Press Conference on Beacon Hill in September to impress upon MA Legislators that Hands-Free has broad support among Massachusetts voters and advocates, including the Commonwealth’s health, education and business communities, and that they will keep up the fight until it is illegal to drive while holding a device in Massachusetts.

Supporters are urging lawmakers to meet during August recess to find consensus in language so the bill can be signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker, who supports Hands-Free.

Local and national press coverage from yesterday’s Hands-Free stall out in Massachusetts include but is not limited to the following:

Boston + Massachusetts Press

Boston Globe – As hand-held cellphone ban stalls, activists weigh ballot question

WBZ – Channel 5 – ABC Boston – Distracted driving bill hung up heading into recess

WCVB – CBS Boston – Distracted Driving Bill Hung Up Heading into Recess

Boston.com – Massachusetts legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business

1420 WBSM – Montigny frustrated as distracted driving bill stalls in committee

Western Mass News – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business 

Midland Daily News – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business 

National Press

Miami Herald – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business

Washington Times – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business

Chicago Tribune – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business

Charlotte Observer – Legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business