Starting in September, holding your cellphone up to your ear while driving could cost you $250 — or more.
Maine has had a distracted driving law for years, but police say it’s been hard to enforce because it’s difficult to tell whether a driver holding a phone is using it to talk or text or search the web.
State Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham sponsored the new measure that prohibits holding a cellphone while driving.
“We had to remove that phone, that electronic device from the hands of people while they are driving,” Diamond said. “That’s all this bill does.”
Highway safety advocates said misuse of cellphones has become a national epidemic causing accidents and fatalities.
“It’s time to put down your phones or electronic devices and just pay attention to your driving,” Maine State Police Lt. Bruce Scott said. “Taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the driving task is a deadly combination. So, remember to just drive.”
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.