Maine outlaws texting & driving

maine distracted driving law author bill diamondMaine became the 33rd state to ban texting while driving as Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the safety legislation June 3.

Maine’s texting and driving law goes into effect in September 2011, 90 days after the legislature adjourns. Fines will be no less than $100, although higher penalties were not specified.

The distracted driving law calls for primary enforcement, meaning police can stop and cite motorists for the offense without further cause. Previously, police could not stop drivers solely because they were observed text messaging while behind the wheel.

Final approval of the bill came in the House and Senate on May 23.

Sen. Bill Diamond (pictured), D-Windham, was the author of LD 763. He also created Maine’s general distracted driving law of 2009, which penalized motorists who fail to have their vehicles under control due to wide range of behaviors.

Diamond said in August: “While Maine took a big step forward passing a distracted driver law in 2009, it is clear to me now that measure deals more with the effect.” Instead, he said, the new texting measure “deals better with the cause of the problem.”

The Maine Chiefs of Police Association supported the proposed texting law during legislative debate.

Maine prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones while driving, but there are no restrictions on adults.

Texting & driving czar Ray LaHood did a drive-by press release: “Distracted driving kills thousands of people every year on our roads and injures hundreds of thousands more,” the DOT leader said. “By signing this tough texting ban into law today, Gov. LePage has taken a crucial step to improve safety and save lives on Maine roads.

USA Today added this comment while reporting on Maine’s new law: “It kind of makes you wonder about the 17 states that still don’t have them.”


  1. Danielle says:

    Your daughter shouldn’t be playing with an iPod while driving either! Wow

  2. Barbara Lufkin says:

    My daughter got pulled over running an errand at night with a friend. My daughter got in a life threatening accidnt in 2010, she does not text and drive. However she does have an Ipod that is hooked up to her car. This ipod glows when it changes songs. When she got pulled over for supposedly texting she tried to explain this to the officer and even offered to show him her phone, which was in her pocketbook. The officer declined any of her suggestions. I am all for stopping texting in driving, but I also think that there needs to be a different route to take. My daughter needs her liscence to go to school and sports that she is in. Why not have a rule that they are to loose phone privledges. Send the letter to there parents to have phones taken away. Parents need to send a shut of paper from there local carrier. My daughter was very devistated and imbarrases so she wuld not let me fight this. at school she is the poster child for yelling at her friends for speeding and texting on there phones. There must be something else.

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