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Mass. distracted driving citations spike dramatically

According to a state report, there were 151 “citations/warnings” issued in January, 405 in February, 3,515 in March, and a whopping 10,276 in April.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Distracted driving citations have climbed in recent months in Massachusetts, according to Acting Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler.

Tesler provided data for citations and warnings issued in Massachusetts for distracted driving over the last few months during a slide presentation he gave at Monday’s regular MassDOT board meeting.

According to officials, there were 2,151 “citations/warnings” issued in January, 2,407 in February, 3,524 in March, and a whopping 10,502 in April.

“What you do see here is an increasing number of citation or warnings for distracted driving,” Tesler told the board. “I think this can be accounted for both in the increased focus on enforcement, as well as obviously from ... January to the spring, a significant increase in traffic on the roads, a significant increase in activity.”


Tesler said the numbers are an “important reminder for everybody to not engage in distracted driving, to put down your phones. It will be a busy period of time. We’re excited that we are taking the next step in opening, but we do encourage people to drive safely.”

A hands-free law for drivers took effect in Mass. in February 2020.

Because of incorrect information provided to the Globe, an earlier version of this post wrongly stated the number of distracted driving citations issued in January. The correct number is 2,151 such citations. The Globe regrets the error.

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at