Safe Driving Bill Passes, Reaches Governor’s Office


Last week, the so-called safe driving bill was passed and sent to the Governor. The bill makes texting while driving a primary offense, but also includes content pertaining to drivers under 18 and over 75. The bill represents an attempt to make the roads safer for everyone driving, and comes as a response to the string of widely publicized car accidents this past year.

According to a summary of the bill, the measure:

  • Bans all operators of motor vehicles, including law enforcement, from text messaging while driving, with fines of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 for subsequent offenders;  
  • Exempts the use of mobile devices while driving for defined emergency purposes;
  • Makes texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police can pull over motorists they believe are texting while driving.  The offenses would not be surchargeable for insurance purposes.
  • Prohibits drivers under age 18, like 28 other states, from using any type of cell phone or mobile device while driving, with a stepped up series of penalties including license and permit suspensions and fines;
  • Requires drivers 75 and older to renew their licenses in person at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and to take a vision test at five year intervals 



  • Requires the Registry to develop regulations to help identify cognitive or functional impairments likely to affect driving ability, standards that law enforcement and health care providers can use to assess a driver’s ability.  The bill also permits physicians or law enforcement officers to report, with civil liability protections, to the Registry when they believe an operator is not physically or medically capable of driving safely.
  • Lowers the threshold that triggers Registry scrutiny. Drivers with five or more surchargeable offenses within a three-year period are subject to an exam to measure their capacity for driving; the bill would switch that standard to drivers with three or more surchargeable incidents within a two-year period.


For Insurance and Risk Management Solutions and relevant insurance information,  visit the Andrew G. Gordon, Inc. website.   

Homeowner’s Insurance Discounts

Homeowers discount to be sure are on your policy

Every homeowners insurance policy is priced based on a starting rate, then discounted, or charged, for various factors that the insurance company feels minimizes or increases the risk of a loss.  If too many factors, or a single factor such as ownership of certain kinds of dogs or proximity to coastline exist, some companies will simply decline coverage.

The biggeest discounts you should have (when they apply) are:

New home discount.  These are either buried in the base rates or have specific credit.  Newer homes don’t have electrical fires, water damage, or other problems that older homes have. 

Good credit / insurance score.  An insurance score is based in part on your credit.  The idea is that  people who take care of their finances carefully generally take good care of their homes as well. 

Clear claims history.  No prior claims is always a good barometer, so even though none of us can predict our own claims, insurance companies view your claims history carefully.  Frequency and severity are two metrics, and frequency carrie smuch more wieght than severity.  Thus three small losses in four years presents a more risky profile to an underwriter than a single fire or other large claim. 

At home resident.  If someone is typicallly at home during the day, some companies offer credits.  This is also listed as a retirees credit. 

Alarm credits – a burglar or fire alarm is a long time credit.  Even better if contacted to a central  monitoring station. 

Charges: some insurance companies add a surcharge for dogs, swimming pools, and other specific conditions.  

At Gordon  Insurance, we view your overall profile as and work hard to find the best fit for coverages you need with the best available pricing.  Always feel free to contact us for more on Home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance or other personal insurance needs.