I have been practicing law in Boston and throughout Massachusetts since 1985. I have represented clients in District Courts, Superior Courts, the Appeals Court, Housing Court, Probate Courts, Federal Bankruptcy Court and the Federal District Court. Recently I was proud to be named a SUPERLAWYER as judged by other Massachusetts lawyers.
Most of us have to start driving sometime. Laws in every state allow you to start driving in your teenage years with some as young as 15. While this makes parents nervous, starting young can lead to developing sound driving habits and it frees up parents from having to drive their teens everywhere. However, teen drivers are novices. Combine inexperience with reckless conduct, an unfortunate trait of many teen drivers, and horrible accidents can result.
California has long been a bellwether state for new trends and laws. It is the most populous state and considered more progressive in protecting citizens from corporate safety violations. Home to the tech industry, its residents embrace innovation and tolerance and has some of the strictest regulations in the country when it comes to environmental and consumer safety. Accordingly, it should be no surprise that the state has passed a law restricting any hand-held use of a cellphone while driving so as to cut down on distracted driving fatalities. But will this have any effect on toughening Massachusetts laws regarding cell phone use while driving?
Bus transportation is an important and inexpensive mode of commuting and traveling for millions of people. Buses help minimize traffic congestion and are able to take large groups to work, sporting and entertainment events. Bus accidents are not as common as other motor vehicle crashes but often lead to numerous victims when crashes do occur.
As a mode of transportation, buses are generally safer than riding in a passenger vehicle. They are larger and heavier and can withstand more force than an ordinary automobile. Passengers sit several feet above the road surface so they seldom are exposed to blunt force trauma from another vehicle. Still, bus passengers suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. In one tragic case in Southern California recently, a 16-year old was killed on a double-decker tour bus that led to a multi-million dollar verdict.
Massachusetts is entering a new era in terms of legalized marijuana. A number of states have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes and now Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California will join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Alaska and Maine in legalizing it for recreational use.
One of the controversies over its legalization is how it affects driving behavior. While marijuana use may be legal in Massachusetts, it is not legal to drive while impaired or under the influence of a drug (OUI). All states have laws making it unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol or to engage in drugged driving. A blood or urine sample can detect the presence of certain drugs if specifically tested for that drug. Also, police officers trained in drug recognition can detect symptoms of drug use in drivers that can provide probable cause to test the motorists for the presence of drugs in their blood system.