Massachusetts Hands Free Driving Law Begins February 23rd!


We are all guilty of chatting on the phone as we drive, especially in my line of work, I am doing a lot of work calls as I am getting from point A to point B. My car is my mobile office! It has always been one of my pet peeves seeing drivers texting or just playing on their phones as they drive. I never know where I am safer…driving behind them or just passing them and leaving them behind.  I admit, I have checked an email or text at a stop light, and I have adjusted driving directions on my phone when it is on the dashboard mount, but never while driving. With all that said, I am very happy this law is in place.


Here are the quick details of the new law:

For drivers 18 or over:

  • Can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode and are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode

  • Are not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone

  • Cannot touch phone except to activate the hands-free mode and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle

  • Are not allowed to touch device for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use

  • Activation of GPS navigation is permitted when the device is installed or properly mounted

  • Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane, but is not allowed at red lights or stop signs

  • Voice to text and communication to electronic devices is legal only when device is properly mounted; use of headphone (one ear) is permitted

For drivers under the age of 18:

  • No use any electronic devices. All phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

The fines for violating the hands-free law are as follows:

  • 1st offense – $100 fine

  • 2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program

  • 3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program

Drivers will be allowed to use a cell phone to call 911 for an emergency but are advised, if possible, to pull over safely before calling 911.



10 tips for managing driver distractions

  1. Turn it off. Turn your phone off or switch to silent mode before you get in the car. Or better yet, put the phone away in a place it cannot be accessed while driving.

  2. Spread the word. Set up a special message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible, or sign up for a service that offers this.

  3. Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.

  4. Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to communicate for you.

  5. X the text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It is dangerous and against the law in most states.

  6. Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car.

  7. Prepare. Start your GPS or review maps and directions before you start to drive. If you need help when you are on the road, ask a passenger to help or pull over to a safe location to review the map and/or directions.

  8. Secure your pets. Pets can be a big distraction in the car. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.

  9. Keep the kids safe. Pull over to a safe location to address situations with your children in the car.

  10. Focus on the task at hand. Refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.

Your Guide to February

 

#GoRedforWomen and join the movement to end heart disease and stroke by wearing red today.


 Academy Awards 

 Roll out your own red carpet and tune in to see which stars of the silver screen will take home an Oscar® this year.


 

 
Valentine’s Day 

 Fun fact: About 40% of people would like to receive a V-Day gift, but only 25% plan to give one. Better get that box of chocolates, just in case.


 


 Presidents’ Day 

 Happy Birthday, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln!

 

  


Why is it called Fat Tuesday? It’s the direct translation of the French words Mardi (Tuesday) and gras (fat), which reflects the practice of overindulgence that often takes place before lent.

 

  

​​ Leap Day

 It only comes around every four years! But why? The Earth takes 365.242 days to orbit around the sun, so leap years are needed to balance our calendars with those extra hours.

 

 

 

 

Preparation Tips to Protect Your Home from Blizzards & Snowstorms

15 Items You Probably Didn’t Know Were Hazardous Waste — Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

Many things we use every day in our homes, gardens, or workshops are so common that we may find it hard to believe they’re classified as hazardous waste and should as a result should be disposed of appropriately. Instead, we toss them in the garbage along with ordinary trash and food scraps, where they could…

via 15 Items You Probably Didn’t Know Were Hazardous Waste — Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

Your Guide to January


National Trivia Day 

Impress your friends with the interesting facts that fill your brain. Or wow a roomful of people by attending a local trivia event!


National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day 

Show support for local officers by sharing a positive story on social media, wearing blue, or displaying blue lights outside your home.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

This day is not just about honoring the man; it’s also about contributing to your community to honor his legacy.


National Pie Day [not Pi Day!] 

Sweet or savory, meat or fruit, we really don’t mind as long as it’s pie!


Chinese New Year

Usher in the Year of the Rat with red envelopes, new clothes, and a break from cleaning!

​​

Have Fun at Work Day

Organize a potluck lunch or ping pong tournament, bring in massage chairs, and take some time out of your day to really enjoy where you work!

The Red Sox lost Babe Ruth to the NY Yankees — for $125,000.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which later became known as the March of Dimes.

Alaska became the first noncontiguous state.

The rainbow Apple logo was developed and company founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduced the Apple II computer to the public.

HBO aired the pilot episode of The Sopranos, only the second original drama it had ever made (The Wire was the first hour-long drama).

Free online encyclopedia Wikipedia launched.


Celebrities born in January include Hayao Miyazaki, Ellen DeGeneres, Dolly Parton, Oprah Winfrey, and Justin Timberlake.

What Is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

When Is Veterans Day?

veterans-day-300x249

  • Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States.
  • In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).
  • In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

Veterans Today

The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:

  • 18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 9% of veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 496,777 are still alive as of 2018.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2015, 3.89 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2017, the top 3 states with the highest percentage of veterans among their population: Alaska, Montana & Maine.
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 170 medical centers; more than 1,063 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics.

 

Find Out Where You Can Be Apart Of Veterans Day Celebrations

Your Guide To November

A highlight of this month’s happenings.

 

 

 

 Veterans Day 

 The Dept. of Veterans Affairs estimates there are around 19 million veterans in the U.S. You probably know one — so hug a vet today!

Are you ready to take your recycling game to the next level? Take the pledge!

 

 

 
Take a Hike Day 

 Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned hiker, find a trail near you and enjoy the scenic wilderness in your area.

  

 

 Education Support Professionals Day 

 Show some love to your school’s front office staff, bus drivers, security staff, and other support staff who contribute to a child’s education.

 


Thanksgiving 

 The practice of sending turkeys to the White House began in the 1870s. In 1989, George H.W. Bush granted the first official turkey “pardon.”

 

 

 

​​Small Business Saturday 

 Support neighborhood businesses during one of the busiest shopping weekends in the year by choosing to shop local.

 

 

While nearly any warmer-than-usual day in fall is often called Indian summer, a true Indian summer must have these traits:

  • Occurs between Nov. 11 and Nov. 20

  • Warm weather following a period of true cold weather or a hard frost

  • A hazy atmosphere

  • Clear and cool nights, in significant contrast to the daytime temperatures

Produce in season this month includes apples, arugula, bok choy, cauliflower, chard, endive, leeks, onions, parsnips, pears, pumpkins, radishes, and spinach.