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Old 08-20-2009, 09:31 PM
 
134 posts, read 466,805 times
Reputation: 104

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OK have been "off exploring the world" the last couple of decades but when moving back I was surprised as how many people were talking on their cell phones while driving without the use of a hands free device or even worse texting while driving.... soooo I emailed Augusta and asked if it was legal. WOW did I ever get a response. Apparently there is a new law that goes into effect in a couple of weeks called the Act To Establish a Distracted Driver Law. Looks like anything not necessary to the operation of the vehicle is going to be "illegal" is "caught" so no drinking a soda pop while driving or eatting fast food or anything. While one may agree the intent of the law, the actual law itself is just way to vague in my humble opinion. Did anyone else here of this new law?

An Act To Establish a Distracted Driver Law
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 29-A MRSA §2117 is enacted to read:
§ 2117. Failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Operation of a motor vehicle while distracted" means the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who, while operating the vehicle, is engaged in an activity:
(1) That is not necessary to the operation of the vehicle; and
(2) That actually impairs, or would reasonably be expected to impair, the ability of the person to safely operate the vehicle.
2. Failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle. A person commits the traffic infraction of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle if the person:

A. Commits either a traffic infraction under this Title or commits the crime of driving to endanger under section 2413 and, at the time the traffic infraction or crime occurred, the person was engaged in the operation of a motor vehicle while distracted; or

B. Is determined to have been the operator of a motor vehicle that was involved in a reportable accident as defined in section 2251, subsection 1 that resulted in property damage and, at the time
the reportable accident occurred, the person was engaged in the operation of a motor vehicle while distracted. A person may be issued a citation or summons for any other traffic infraction or crime that was committed
by the person in relation to the person’s commission of the traffic infraction of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.
Effective September 12, 2009

 
Old 08-20-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
21,338 posts, read 7,517,257 times
Reputation: 33307
Sounds like it will be a fine-able offense if you're in an accident. Doesn't sound like you'll be pulled over for phone use or slurping a DD cofee, etc. There'd be a revolt. They're not even that anal in Massachusetts! lol
 
Old 08-20-2009, 10:25 PM
 
141 posts, read 259,617 times
Reputation: 77
good! too many mooks driving terribly because of cell phones.
 
Old 08-20-2009, 10:48 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,451,439 times
Reputation: 3491
Just more feedoms out the window! Start carrying!
 
Old 08-20-2009, 10:51 PM
 
8 posts, read 17,508 times
Reputation: 13
On the one hand, I was walking across the street and hit (lightly) by a car where the driver was cellphoning. So, yes, it can happen.

On the other hand, I transcribed for an insurance investigator, and one of his usual questions was: were you distracted, perhaps talking on a cell phone at the time of the accident? So, yes, it's already an established phenomenon in the accident world.

On the third hand, could trying to reset your music after your son has borrowed your vehicle be grounds for distracted driverism? Because, gee, I do that all the time...
 
Old 08-21-2009, 03:32 AM
 
141 posts, read 259,617 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
Just more feedoms out the window! Start carrying!
laws are usually made after someone screwed things up, not before.

we wouldnt NEED this law if peoples driving wasnt being affected by their toys
 
Old 08-21-2009, 05:23 AM
 
134 posts, read 466,805 times
Reputation: 104
I agree that people should not be talking on their cell phones while driving without the use of some sort of hands free device as holding a cell phone in your hand and talking while driving is just crazy however this new law seems to go a bit over board by making any activity not necessary to the operation of that vehicle an offense. God help us if we have to blow our nose LOL. No the cops are not going to pull anyone over and give tickets if they see someone talking on their phone if someone is in an accident they surely are not going to admit they were doing anything and it will be a bit too late for the other party (you and me) if we are on the receiving end of that accident due to their talking on the cell phone .... would have been so easy to write the law to be clear plain in simple but this is just typical mumbo jumbo. Typical govt legistlation
 
Old 08-21-2009, 06:28 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 5,060,212 times
Reputation: 1519
I would normally agree with Maineah but this law IS necessary..

I think the law is streight forward...it is a "criminal" infraction meaning you will HAVE to go to court.. it is something that will be an additional charge and sometimes the more serious charge depending on what your distracting behavior caused ie.. running a red light....or t boning another MV and killing someone... the severity of what happened will determine what the penalty is.

I have a teenager who consitantly "distracted" when ever I am telling him something.... "huh" is a commen response I get from him ... Between music, friends, and TEXTING this kids have their hands full just trying to drive let alone still do what they normally do 24 seven...

And not to pick on teens .... I also see so many adults texting, talking, eating, ect while driving... We collectively have made our roads safer... this is another tool in that effort...
 
Old 08-21-2009, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,679 posts, read 49,437,227 times
Reputation: 19129
It seems to me that if you do something that impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle, and while failing to control your vehicle, you commit a traffic infraction and get into an accident; then maybe you should get a ticket.

I have seen Maine drivers who 'swerve' and who drift into the on-coming lane especially while going around curves. It really annoys me to go into a curve and to see an oncoming vehicle coming at me in my lane.

I assume it is because they are not driving with both hands, or they are talking, or doing some other activity, other than safely operating their vehicle.

Since moving to Maine, I have had to go onto the shoulder maybe a dozen times, due to an oncoming vehicle driving in my lane through a curve.

I have not been in any 'accident' due to this Maine-driver behavior, but I could see where it is dangerous.
 
Old 08-21-2009, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,511,432 times
Reputation: 1395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
Just more feedoms out the window! Start carrying!
Oh, come on! Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege. It is not a "freedom", but a privilege granted by the state to someone who supposedly is trained to use a vehicle safely.

Using a cell phone in a car is a distraction, whether hands free or not. IF a cell phone is in use and causes an accident then the person using the phone should be cited and punished.

If memory serves me correctly, not long ago there was a considerable loss of life involving a train operator who was texting or yakking on the cellphone when the train blew through a warning light? Well, how would it be if someone is using a cell phone and misses the flashing lights on a school bus?

I think people should shut up and drive when they are in the car.
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