Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!

Using Your Cell Phone While Driving

So how many uses do our cell phones provide while we are driving? Of course there is the talking and texting features. There is also video recording and picture taking, We can play our musical playlists through most vehicles now with our phones. Most of us even use our cell phones to find our way to any location we need to find. Our cell phones do a lot of good...but still can be the most dangerous item we carry in our vehicles. Why? Because most people are impatient. The need to know right now, sometimes overtakes common sense. Maine was disappointed when Gov. LePage vetoed a texting while driving law. He wants the distraction law in Maine enforced, which he believes covers that law. Now remember, driving distracted covers almost anything. Fast forwarding a song your playing through your phone could also be considered a distraction.You don't have to be involved in an accident or pulled over for a traffic violation to be charged for driving while being distracted. If they think they see you texting or using your phone, that will be their probable cause for everything else. Paul LePage would rather see that, than a direct law on texting while driving."

  • Using Your Cell Phone While Driving... Really?

Maine is one of 44 states that bans texting while driving. All drivers, regardless of age, are prohibited from texting while driving. This is a primary law, which means you can get pulled over by the police and penalized for composing or sending a text message while driving, even without committing another traffic violation prior to that. If they think they see you texting or using your phone, they can pull you over for it. As I stated, it will be written on your ticket as distracted driving.

Like in most other states, Novice Drivers in Maine are banned from ALL cell phone use while driving. Novice Drivers mean drivers under the age of 18, are banned from both hand-held and hands-free cell phone use while driving. It has been determined that distracted driving is a significant problem among young drivers. This is also a primary law. This means that drivers older than 18 ARE allowed to talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel. However, the use of your cell phone needs to be hands free. This would mean your speaker phone would be used.

Again, it is against the law to drive while distracted in Maine

The Distraction Law includes using cellphones, laptops, eating food or reading roadmaps, while you're behind the wheel.

The minimum fine for texting while driving in Maine is $250, which refers to first-time offenders, while repeat offenders face a $500 fine. This includes emails and instant messages, in addition to text messages (2014)

The Department of Public Safety listed distracted driving as a cause in over 2,000 collisions on Maine highways in 2014,

According to federal data, 10 percent of the drivers under 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. For drivers in their 20s, the figure was 27 percent.

Keep in mind if you cause an accident while texting, that may also lead to a charge of driving to endanger.

My Final Thought...

"This law is probably more easy for my generation to follow than the current generation. We were used to a phone that didn't leave a wall and a machine we checked when we got home that played us messages we missed. We weren't in a hurry to know. Now a days we all are because ... we can. We are very fortunate that we get to share your technology with you.I am sure we hope, for your own safety, that you realize how easy it is to lose your life when you take the time to check a message that could have waited. The worst things that can happen in your life will not be texted to you. You will always get a call on those subjects. The text is not THAT important and it can wait. If I'm wrong then pull over first before reading it. Your parents and kids will thank you!"

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