Distracted Driving & Text Messaging
What is Maine's LAW ON Distracted Driving & Text Messaging
29-A MRS §2121 prohibits operation of a motor vehicle on a public way "while using, manipulating, talking into or otherwise interacting with a handheld electronic device or mobile telephone." Exceptions are made for communicating with law enforcement or emergency services under "emergency circumstances," using a device in hands-free mode (if licensed and 18 years of age or older), and commercial and school bus drivers "using a handheld electronic device or mobile telephone within the scope of the person's employment as permitted under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations."
29-A MRS §2119 prohibits operation of a motor vehicle while text messaging, which is defined as using a handheld electronic device for “reading or manually composing electronic communications,” including text messages, instant messages, and e-mail (see 29-A MRS §101(80-B)). 29-A MRS §2119 prescribes penalties for its violation, which can include a fine of not less than $250 for a first offense and a minimum 30-day license suspension for repeat offenders.
29-A MRS §2118 defines distracted driving as operating a motor vehicle while engaging in an activity “that is not necessary to the operation of the vehicle” and “that actually impairs, or would reasonably be expected to impair, the ability of the person to safely operate the vehicle.” When combined with other factors established by §2118, distracted driving can contribute to failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle, which is a traffic infraction.
29-A MRS §1304 and §1311 prohibit persons with a learner’s permit and licensed drivers under 18, respectively, from operating a motor vehicle “on a public way while using, manipulating, talking into or otherwise interacting with a handheld electronic device or mobile telephone.”
12/5/2019 A-Z List