STATEWIDE- As of midnight tonight the state’s hands-free driving law goes into effect.
It might take some getting used to, but starting Thursday you can no longer hold your phone while you’re driving.
Officials say the law’s purpose is to eliminate distracted driving to help keep the roads safe.
“Holding the phone and texting, using the phone in any manner when you’re holding it is distracting. And when it was just the texting it made our jobs difficult because we couldn’t necessarily see exactly what they were doing on the phone. Now we’re going be able to see that the phone is in their hand which is a direct violation of the law and we’ll be able to take enforcement action,” Waterville Police Sergeant Jennifer Weaver said.
And early Wednesday, Sgt. Weaver along with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Bill Diamond took to the streets a day early to get the message out and help citizens get ready for this big change.
“We’re talking about a culture change, culture change from what people are used to doing with the phone while driving and now we want that to stop, just as we did with seatbelts, that was a culture change as well, as was drunk driving. So I think I am very optimistic on how this is going to make a big difference,” Senator Diamond said.
Now what is passable under this new law are hands-free applications such as blue tooth or even dashboard cell phone mounts. Now if you caught driving while holding your phone, the first offense will be a $50 fine but any time after that it will be fine of $250 or more coming out of your pocket.