A recent release by U. . Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is giving kudos to Maine for joining the many other states in implementing a tough ban on texting while driving.
Our Portland car accident attorneys congratulate Governor Paul LePage for finally biting the bullet to ban texting in our state in an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving car accidents in Bangor and throughout Maine.
Maine is the 33rd state to ban texting while driving for all drivers. Starting September 2011, Maine drivers caught texting while operating a vehicle will face a minimum of $100 fine for the violation.
“Distracted driving kills thousands of people every year on our roads and injures hundreds of thousands more,” said Secretary LaHood. “By signing this tough texting ban into law today, Governor LePage has taken a crucial step to improve safety and save lives on Maine roads.”
Despite 32 other states enacting the texting ban previously, ABC News reports that Maine legislatures feel that they are setting the mark higher for other states to follow. A new bill has been proposed in U. . Senate that if passed, would make it illegal to read, write or send a text message while driving any moving vehicle. Studies have shown that texting while driving has proven to be as dangerous, if not more, than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If federal law passes, states would lose 25 percent of annual highway funding if they fail to comply.
“I certainly support anything that is going to make our roads safer, but I think Maine did it … in a more common sense way,” said State Senator Bill Diamond. “We didn’t try to eliminate cell phones, we didn’t try to eliminate any other type of technology. We simply said no matter what you’re doing, if you’re distracted then it’s a violation of the law.”
Maine’s newly passed law doesn’t ban texting and driving but it penalizes drivers if texting causes them to get in an accident or drive recklessly.
We posted previously on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog that young drivers are in the midst of the 100 deadliest days of the year for teen crashes. Distracted driving and driving under the influence are among the top reasons that this age groups is at such a high risk.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers the following safety tips in their distracted driving brochure:
- Refrain from touching all dials or buttons while in motion, including the radio, GPS unit, window control, air conditioning, or seat positions.
- Despite the convenience of cup holders and drive thru windows, eating in your vehicle while you drive is never a good idea.
- Rather than responding to a text message or phone call, let the messages stay in your inbox until it is safe to check them. Cell phones are the leading cause of distraction so eliminate the temptation by turning them off before you drive.
- If children need attended to, pull over into a safe spot rather than take your eyes off the road to address the situation.
- Multi-tasking is a bad idea. Never perform multiple tasks when you are behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a distracted driving accident in Portland or Bangor, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates. Call 1-800-804-2004 for a free and confidential appointment today.
More Blog Entries:
National Safety Month in June Aims to Reduce Unintentional Injuries in Bangor, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, June 10, 2011
Teens at High Risk of Drunk Driving Accidents in Maine During Spring and Summer Events, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, May 6, 2011