New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law

New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law

New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law While Driving – It’s the Law

The new Hands-Free Electronics Device Law distracted driving law takes effect on Sunday, February 23.

This law is a significant change for drivers 18 and over and traffic enforcement as well. The new law (Chapter 122 of the Acts of 2019) prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any mobile electronic device, including a cell phone, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.

Drivers 18 and over are:

  • Not permitted to hold or support any electronic device
  • Only permitted to touch devices 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
  • Not permitted to read or view text, images, or video displayed on a mobile electronic device; however, a driver may view a map generated by a navigation system or application on a mobile electronic device that is properly mounted

Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All device/phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

Penalties for Violating the Hands-Free Law

  • 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

Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, the operator should safely pull over and stop before calling 911.

More Info
Please visit Department of Transportation website for more details. We’ve also included a link to an informational brochure below, that we ask you to review, post, and share with your customers and colleagues.

Questions About New Hands-Free Electronics Device Law?
Contact MA Department of Transportation at RMVATLASSupport@dot.state.ma.us with any questions you may have.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance Web Log Article Links

Johnson & Rohan Insurance Web Log Article Links

 

 

 

 

Happy Presidents Day.

Presidents Day is a federal holiday, so most all federal offices, such as the Post Office, are closed. Many state offices or services, such as The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, are closed as well.

One place that is definitely open: Car dealerships.

That’s one of the reasons why our independent insurance agency is open as well.

When clients are buying vehicles, we need to be there to provide insurance stamp and proof of coverage in the form of an insurance binder.

Cleaning out the organization of our website, I notice we offer same good articles on a number of important topics. Often I refer to these articles when a client calls requesting information on topics such as: Junior Operator License Restrictions, the Surcharge Appeal Process or The MA Homestead Act.

Following we offer Johnson & Rohan Insurance web log article links:

The Dreaded Ice Dams

Ice Dams

 

You can help prevent serious damage to both the roof and inside of your home by minimizing the likelihood that ice dams will develop, and by removing one as soon as you spot it. Ice dams can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. Without roof snow removal, an ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home.

How to Help Prevent Ice Dams from Forming:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every storm. To begin with, use a roof rake to clear snow from the edge of your roof upwards of three to four feet immediately after each storm. In addition to helping prevent an ice dam from forming, this will lessen the stress on your home’s roof. The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type and the age and condition of the structure. But a good rule to keep in mind is if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed.
  • Clear downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This can help prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter downspout.

How Do You Know if You Have Ice Dams?

  • Look carefully at the icicles around the exterior of your house. If they are confined to the gutters and there is no water trapped behind them, then an ice dam has likely not formed. Nonetheless, icicles can pose a danger to people when they fall off, so try to safely knock them down while standing on the ground, making sure not to stand directly beneath them. If you cannot safely reach them from the ground, consider hiring a contractor to help.
  • Check for water stains or moisture in the attic or around the tops of exterior walls on the top floor of your house. Stains and moisture may indicate that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.

How to Remove Ice Dams:

  • Melt the ice dams. Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt, and place it vertically across the ice dam so that it melts a channel through the dam. If you try this, make sure you can safely position the ice melt on your roof, and make sure to use calcium chloride, not rock salt. Rock salt will damage your roof. Also, be aware that shrubbery and plants near the gutters or downspouts may be damaged.
  • Get professional help. If you cannot safely reach the roof, avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. Consider hiring a contractor to remove the ice dam.

Long-term Tips for Preventing Ice Dams:

  • Insulate your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
  • Install a water-repellent membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water repellent membrane underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.

MA REAL ID

MA REAL ID

 

 

 

 

 

After October 1, 2020, you will need a MA REAL ID or a passport to fly within the United States or enter federal buildings.

A MA REAL ID:

  • Is a valid driver’s license or identification card
  • Is valid as a form of federal ID
  • Requires an in-person visit
  • Has a star displayed on the document to indicate that is a federally compliant card

Once you’ve decided if you want a MA REAL ID, get the right documents together. You’ll need to prove your:

  • U.S. citizenship or lawful presence
  • Social Security number
  • Massachusetts residency

All documents must be originals, photocopies and laminated documents will not be accepted.

A document cannot be used to prove more than one requirement.

U.S. Citizenship or Lawful presence documents

1 document from this group for either REAL ID or a Standard driver’s license/ID.

Lawful presence means that you’re legally living in the United States according to federal immigration laws. All U.S. citizens and lawfully permanent residents have permanent lawful presence in the U.S.

Non-U.S. citizens who are studying, working, or living temporarily in the U.S. may have temporary lawful presence that may vary in length.

For U.S. citizens, a valid, unexpired U.S. passport is sufficient proof of lawful presence. U.S. citizens may also provide a certified copy of their U.S. birth certificate.

For permanent residents, a valid permanent resident card (green card) is enough.

For non-U.S. citizens, you need to provide valid, verifiable immigration documents as well as proof that you’ve been granted a legal stay in the U.S. for at least 12 months. Your license or ID will expire when your legal stay is over.

Whether you’re getting a MA REAL ID or a Standard driver’s license/ID, you’ll need one of these:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
    • If your U.S. passport was issued within the last six months, bring your certified copy of your U.S. birth certificate
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual’s state of birth
    • A Puerto Rican birth certificate will only be accepted if it was issued on or after July 1, 2010. For more information on the Puerto Rican birth certificate law, visit the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration website. 
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by DHS or INS
  • Temporary I-551 stamp in foreign passport
  • Unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) issued by DHS, Form I-766, or Form I-688B
  • Unexpired foreign passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. visa affixed
    • A non-US passport must contain a current visa and be presented with an I-94 Record of Arrival and Departure, unless you have a Permanent Resident Card or other change in status. The I-94 can be either a paper version from U.S. Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website.
    • For applicable customers who have a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) or Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019) documentation verifying the applicant’s most recent admittance into the United States must be shown
  • Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560, or Form N-561, issued by DHS
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Re-Entry Permit (I-327) – accepted for Standard credential only
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571) – accepted for Standard credential only

Note: The federal government allows for some exceptions to those in temporary protected status (TPS). See Department of Homeland Security’s website for current countries designated for TPS.

Social Security Number (SSN) documents

1 document from this group for either REAL ID or a Standard driver’s license/ID.

You must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for any learner’s permit, driver’s license, or ID card. The RMV will validate the SSN you provide against computer records at the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you do not have an SSN, you may request an application for one by calling (800) 772-1213.

If you’re getting a Standard driver’s license/ID, you’ll only need to provide your valid SSN.

If you’re getting a REAL ID, you’ll need to bring 1 of the following documents displaying your 9-digit SSN:

  • SSN Card (cannot be laminated)
  • W-2 Form*
  • SSA-1099 Form
  • Non-SSA-1099 Form
  • A pay stub with the applicant’s name and full SSN on it*
  • SSN Denial Notice with passport, visa, and I-94

*One (W-2/paystub) cannot be used for both the Massachusetts residency and SSN requirements.  Two different (W-2s/paystubs) from different employers can be used for both requirements.

If you do not have an SSN, you should apply for one at a Social Security office as soon as possible. If you are denied an SSN, you may still qualify for a Massachusetts driver’s license or ID card if you can meet other identification requirements. However, to prove that you applied for an SSN, you must present the written denial notice the SSA provided you. The RMV requires your SSN or denial notice to confirm your identity and to maintain your license and driving records.

Note: All CDL applicants must have an SSN.

Massachusetts residency documents

1 or 2 1 for a Standard driver’s license/ID, 2 for a REAL ID

To prove Massachusetts residency, you’ll need a document showing your current residential address. A P.O. Box isn’t acceptable. Neither is a document mailed “in care of.”

You’ll need 2 of these documents for a REAL ID. Standard driver’s license/ID applicants need 1 of the following:

  • Massachusetts RMV-issued documents (can use one from the options below)
    • Current license, Massachusetts ID card, or learner’s permit (liquor ID not accepted)
    • RMV-issued correspondence dated within 60 days and received via U.S. mail (including license/registration reminders)
  • State/federal/municipal/city/town/county agency-issued documents
    • 1st class, government-issued mail dated within 60 days
    • Current MA-issued professional license with photograph
    • Medicaid statement dated within 60 days
    • Current firearms card
    • Jury duty summons dated within 60 days
    • Court correspondence dated within 60 days
    • Property tax for current year
    • Excise tax for current year
  • Bills
    • Utility bill (electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable, satellite, heating) dated within 60 days
    • Credit card statement dated within 60 days
    • Medical/hospital statement dated within 60 days
    • Cell phone bill dated within 60 days
  • Lease or Mortgage
    • Current lease/mortgage or similar rental contract
  • Financial-related documents
    • Bank statement that contains images of cancelled personal checks dated within 60 days
    • W-2 wage and tax statement from immediate prior year*
    • Current pension statement (401k, 457, SEP, etc.)
    • Current retirement statement
    • Pay stub dated within 60 days*
    • Current SSA statement
    • Current installment loan contract (car loan)
  • School-issued documents
    • Official school transcript for current year
    • Official letter from school (proof of enrollment) dated within 60 days
    • Tuition bill for current year
    • Certified school record for current year
  • Insurance-related documents
    • Auto insurance policy for current year
    • Renter’s insurance policy for current year
    • Homeowner’s insurance policy for current year
  • Alternative Residency Affidavit
    • For applicants under 18 only

*One (W-2/paystub) cannot be used for both the Massachusetts residency and SSN requirements.  Two different (W-2s/paystubs) from different employers can be used for both requirements.

NAME MUST MATCH for REAL ID

If your current name doesn’t match the one that appears on your lawful presence document(s), you must prove your legal name change in order to qualify for a REAL ID driver’s license/ID card. If multiple name changes, documentation for each name change must be provided. You will need to provide one of the following:

  • Marriage Certificate (must be issued from the municipality)
  • Divorce Decree
  • Court Document

Formulated in the wake of September 11 and passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act was passed to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”

The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and it prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes.

It was aimed at eliminating airline terrorism by increasing requirements to obtain documents granting access to domestic planes.

You can start your MA REAL ID application online by clicking HERE.

 

Playoff Chili

Game Day Chicken Chili

Game Day Chicken Chili Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in puree, undrained
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving:
  • Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream, cilantro

 

Directions

  • Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerateand reheat gently before serving.

Happy New Year from your friends at Johnson & Rohan Insurance

Happy New Year from your friends at Johnson & Rohan Insurance

As the 26th anniversary of Johnson & Rohan Insurance rolls around, we’d like to wish everyone the happiest of New Years!

We’d also like to thank you for your business.

Wherever you live, we understand there are probably many insurance agencies between your house and our Agency.

We will continue to work hard to earn your business.

Whether it’s reviewing your renewal, running to the Registry, or assisting at a stressful claim time, we are always happy to help.

In 2019 we invested in new, Microsoft compliant computers, as well as our Agency management and comparative rating systems.

Although the insurance industry has changed we’ve found, over the years, time and time again: it’s all about the markets.

If you have the right market you can find the most competitively priced policies for all sorts of insurance products.

We have the markets.

We rate personal auto insurance with 7 companies and even more companies for home, business and life insurance.

If you ever have any questions, please give us a call, click or stop by.

Happy New Year from your friends at Johnson & Rohan Insurance

Merry Christmas

 

 

Happy Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays from our family to your family.

Our office will be open on Tuesday, December 24th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

We will be closed Christmas Day, re-opening Thursday, December 26th.

If after hours, following please find some of our companies’ off-hours claim reporting telephone numbers:

Travelers/ Premier:  1-877-425-2466

Vermont Mutual: 1-800-435-0397

Safety Insurance:  1-866-906-5016

MPIUA:  1-800-392-6108

Progressive: 1-800-776-4737

Commerce/MAPFRE: 1-800-922-8276

Amica: 1-800-242-6422

Plymouth Rock/Pilgrim Insurance: 617-951-1620

Hagerty Insurance: 1-800385-0274

Swyfft Insurance:  1-855-479-9338

 

Winter Storm Preparedness

How to Help Prepare for a Snow Storm

By Travelers Insurance

Is there a winter storm on the horizon? Take some time now to gather the supplies you will need to ride out the storm at home, or to safely venture outside if you must. Once you have taken the appropriate precautions, you can focus on enjoying the winter wonderland outside your window.

Check Your Supplies

Check your supplies winter preparation

  • Make sure you have a snow shovel and ice melt to keep walkways clear and safe.
  • Check that you have sufficient heating fuel for your home and fuel for your generator, if you have one.
  • If you will be using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you should have a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
  • Have warm clothing and blankets on hand, and stock non-perishable food items and necessary medications to last you and your family for several days.

Get Ready for a Power Outage

winter preparation first aid

  • Turn your heat up now, and close off any rooms that are not in use.
  • Check pipe insulation, and if you lose power, allow water to run at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Charge your battery-powered electronic and communications devices.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio on hand to stay aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Get out your flashlights, batteries, first aid kit and other emergency supplies.

Stay Warm — and Safe

Fireplace as part of winter preparation

  • If you start a wood-burning fire, follow all fireplace or woodstove safety precautions.
  • Do not use an oven or a range as a home heating device.
  • If you have a generator, only use it outside, where there is sufficient ventilation.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they work properly.
  • Do not let candles burn unattended, and keep them away from combustibles. Battery-powered LED lights are a safe, energy-efficient alternative to traditional candles.
  • If you have an ice dam prevention system, turn it on before the snow starts to fall.

Stay Inside — and Safe

Looking inside through a window

J&R’s Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips by Johnson & Rohan Insurance

Here it is, early December and already the season’s first big storm! Here in Lynnfield, we got close to a foot of the wet & heavy.

Here are tips to keep in mind when driving in winter conditions:

Beware of snow banks! Go slow when pulling in and out of parking lots or side streets. Drive slow, in general, because you can’t see vehicles driving in and out of parking lots and side streets. Road are narrower and driving more harrowing. Be careful.

Be prepared.  Have your mechanic check your car’s battery, brakes, fluid levels and tire wear.  Keep your gas tank more than half full- it lowers the chance of freezing and you’ll also avoid running out of gas if your stuck in a traffic jam on 128.

Take care in pulling out.  Your car reacts differently to accelerating on snow, make sure there is plenty of time/space to get your car up to speed.  Remember other vehicles may have trouble braking because of the conditions.

Back your car into the driveway when possible.  You’ll have better vision when pulling out.

Be aware of walkers or joggers on the street. When sidewalks are impassable, die hard joggers and dog walkers are forced to venture onto the street for a clearer path.   Keep an eye out for them!

When waiting to make a left hand turn, keep the wheels of your car pointed forward.  If your wheels are turned to the left and you are rear-ended, your car will be pushed into the path of on-coming traffic.

Braking.  If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start to skid, pump the brakes to gain control of the skidding.  If your car has anti-lock brakes, slam and hold down the brakes to allow the anti-lock system to take over.

When you must travel during a storm, notify others of your estimated time of arrival and your intended route.

If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help.  Run the engine and heater sparingly.  Also make your exhaust pipe is clear from snow and ventilate your car to prevent carbon monoxide build up.

If stuck in a storm, preserve your energy.  Have food (energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky) in your car.   They will provide your body with energy to produce its own heat.  Have water available to prevent dehydration.  Don’t eat snow, it lowers your body temperature- if necessary, melt it first.

Prepare a Winter Driving Kit and leave it in your trunk.  Your kit should include an extra pair of gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, food basics (energy bars, trail mix or beef jerky work well), water or energy drink.  An affordable car battery- air compressor can provide a battery charge or refill a flat tire.

Driver New to Winter Driving?  Find an open location with wintry conditions and let the inexperienced driver practice accelerating and braking on snow.  Your car will behave differently on snow and ice and a little practice can make a big difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

From our family to your family: Happy Thanksgiving.

We are thankful for having you as a client!

We understand that there are many options for insurance, from the big-budgeted advertisers, to the small agencies between your home and our office.

We promise to treat you as we want to be treated.

Our office will be closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day and on Friday, November 27, 2019.

Our office will re-open Monday, unbelievably: December 1st.

We hope your Thanksgiving is full of peace, love and a plate full of food.

Thank you for your business.

Johnson & Rohan