Massachusetts traffic law: If you reside in the United States, you should be familiar with the traffic laws of the state in which you reside and based on common sense, this does not mean that the rules are the same in every state.
If you plan to visit or relocate to Massachusetts, you need to be aware of the driving laws that may be different from what you are used to elsewhere.
The following Massachusetts traffic laws for drivers will help you understand which laws may be different from those in your home state or even your home country.
12 Massachusetts traffic laws for drivers
Take a look at the most common traffic rules in this state:
1 – Licenses
The state of Massachusetts provides two different passenger vehicle licenses for those who meet the requirements to obtain a state driver’s license.
Junior Operator License (JOL)
- Any driver under 18 years of age and who has held a driving permit for a minimum of 6 months can apply for a JOL;
- JOL requires drivers to have a licensed driver aged 21 or over in the seat next to them when driving;
- Drivers with a JOL cannot have anyone under the age of 18 as a passenger in the vehicle unless he or she is an immediate family member within the first 6 months after the license is issued;
- JOL holders are not allowed to drive between 12:30am to 5am without a parent or guardian in the vehicle;
- If the junior driver receives a speeding violation, the license will be suspended for 90 days on the first violation. Additional offenses will result in a one-year suspension for each.
2 – Necessary/mandatory equipment
- Shock absorbers are required and must be in good working order on all vehicles;
- All vehicles must have an engine ignition lock;
- Plate lights with white bulbs are required;
- Seat belts and safety seats;
- All vehicle drivers and passengers weighing less than 18,000 pounds must wear a seat belt;
- Children under the age of 8 and under 57 inches tall must be in a safety seat designed and approved by the government in terms of height and weight.
3 – Cell phones and electronics
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone or any other electronic device;
- It is illegal and a serious fault for all drivers to read, write or send text messages or emails or access the Internet while driving;
- If the driver causes an accident that causes property damage or injury due to the use of a cell phone or electronic device, this is called negligent operation and will result in loss of license and criminal charges.
4 – Headlights
- Headlights should be used whenever visibility decreases to 500 feet in front of a vehicle;
- Headlights are necessary during periods of fog, rain and snow, and when driving in dust or smoke;
- All drivers must use headlights when in a tunnel;
- Headlights should be on if windshield wipers are in use due to weather conditions.
5 – General rules
Marijuana – Although Massachusetts laws allow possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana and the use of medical marijuana, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the drug.
6 – Headphones
It is illegal to wear headphones while driving. However, people over the age of 18 can wear headphones or headphones in one ear only.
7 – Truck beds
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to ride in the bed of a pickup truck.
8 – Televisions
Televisions in vehicles must be positioned so that the driver cannot see them when looking ahead or when turning their head to look to the sides of the vehicle.
9 – Two seconds
Massachusetts requires drivers to use the two-second rule when following another vehicle. If road or weather conditions are not ideal, the amount of space should be increased to ensure enough space to stop or avoid an accident.
10 – Minimum speeds
· Drivers are required to follow the minimum speed limit indications when there are no hazardous road conditions. It is also illegal to keep traffic driving very slowly, even if there are no minimum speed signs posted.
11 – Right of way
Pedestrians always have the right of way, failing to yield to them could result in an accident.
12 – Signaling
All drivers must use signs when turning, stopping or changing lanes. If turn signals are not working on a vehicle, hand signals should be used.
Understanding and following these Massachusetts rules of the road, along with those in each state, will ensure that you stay within the law while driving.
See the Massachusetts Driver’s Handbook for more information.