New hands-free driving law takes effect 9/19
Maine's new hands-free driving law takes effect on Thursday, September 19th. Drivers may not use, manipulate, or hold a mobile device while driving. According to AAA, distracted driving kills an average of 9 people and injures over 1,000 every day in the US. Everyone who drives or rides in a car or truck can do their part to keep themselves and their fellow road users safe by preventing distracted driving.
Here is a Q&A with Maine State Police about the state's new distracted driving law. Fines are $50 for first-time offenders and $250 for subsequent offenses. In addition to complying with the law to avoid fines, it is important to remember that distracted driving laws exist because many thousands of drivers who thought they could safely operate a motor vehicle while also focusing on another activity have crashed and caused deaths, injuries, and property damage. Here is more information from AAA about the public health threat posed by distracted driving. Mobile devices are not the only distractions that can lead to crashes. While not specifically illegal, many other activities such as eating, putting on makeup, paying attention to children in the back seat, or even thinking about something other than the road (cognitive distraction) have led to serious crashes. If you can't focus 100% of your attention on driving, it's always safer to find a place to pull over and deal with the other issue before continuing your trip.