The state's new hands-free driving laws went into effect yesterday, making it illegal for drivers to use any handheld device while driving.

The new state law includes a probationary period through March 31. Those caught breaking the law with phones or other devices in hand will get a warning for first offenses until that point.

The hands-free law prohibits the use of cell phones or handheld devices in traffic, including at stop signs and red lights and allows officers to pull over cars whose drivers have devices in their hands. While adults are permitted under the law to use hands-free calling and mounted GPS devices, drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from all phone use while driving.

There are certain exceptions to the law due to emergency situations specified below in this post from the Lenox Police Department.

According to the new state law, after March 31, a first offense will come with a $100 fine. Second offenses will earn you $250 fine, in addition to mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program and a third offense, officers can issue $500 fines, in addition to insurance surcharges and a mandatory driving educational program.