One Year Anniversary of Hands-Free Driving Law in State of Maine

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Hands-Free driving law has now been in place throughout the state for one year. News Source 8′s Cam Smith has more on how the first year went.

It’s been one year since the Hands-Free driving law went into effect. The prohibits the use of handheld phones and devices behind the wheel. Friday AAA hosted a webinar to discuss distracted driving and how the first year has gone.

“Certainly have talked, as I said, with local police officers in various communities around my area, and they’ve certainly said that this is something that… this passing of the law has really made a difference. At least anecdotally they observe a big difference.”

Pat Moody, of Triple A Northern New England, says that distracted driving is more than just using a cell phone behind the wheel.

“Most drivers know that texting and driving is dangerous. But they’re not the only distractions that we have on the highway. We know that more infotainment, navigation tools, and even passengers can take your mind and eyes off the road.”

According to Triple A, distracted driving kills an average of 9 people and injures more than 1000 people every day. They say just 5 seconds of reading a text or email is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Senator Bill Diamond says that by continuing to teach younger drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, more progress can be made.

“This is a never-ending battle. You heard some of the statistics regarding teen drivers. Their distractions are really causing many crashes. So, I think that doesn’t always turn out to be true when it comes to all teens and I want to make that point too. But the fact is that teen drivers within the first 5 or 6 years, they need all the habit forming they can get. Good habit forming and I think that’s what I think the education piece will do for that.”

“Put it away. Simply put it away. Put them of sight out of mind. I just drove with a teen who is prepping for his driving test yesterday, and he says my game plan is to put it in the center console, shut it off and not even use it.”

Both Moody and Diamond say there is work that still needs to be done to combat distracted driving throughout the state of Maine. Cam Smith, News Source 8.

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