A discussion recently started at the station about what was legal and not legal when it comes to your mobile phone and driving in the state of Maine. There were several people who were under the impression that you HAD to use a Bluetooth or similar hands-free device. That's actually not true, that only applies to commercial drivers (i.e 18-wheelers etc). However, IF you are under the age of 18, you CAN NOT talk on a handheld mobile device period! Here are the laws as according to Maine.Gov.

 

Distracted Driving

Maine has enacted several law relating to distracted driving. Maine Motor Vehicle Statutes Title 29-A S2116 says a person who has not attained 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone or handheld electronic device. This means an operator of a motor vehicle that is under the age of 18 cannot manipulate, talk into or interact with a mobile telephone or handheld electronic device. Fines range from $50 for the first offense to $250 for the second or subsequent offense.

§2116. Use of electronic devices by minors while operating motor vehicles

  1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
  2. "Handheld electronic device" means any handheld electronic device that is not part of the operating equipment of the motor vehicle, including but not limited to an electronic game, device for sending or receiving electronic mail, text messaging device or computer.[2007, c. 272, §1 (NEW).]
  3. "Mobile telephone" means a device used to access a wireless telephone service.[2007, c. 272, §1 (NEW).]

B-1. "Operate" means driving a motor vehicle on a public way with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or a stop sign or otherwise stationary. "Operate" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has pulled the motor vehicle over to the side of, or off, a public way and has halted in a location where the motor vehicle can safely remain stationary. [2015, c. 113, §4 (NEW).]

  1. "Using" means manipulating, talking into or otherwise interacting with a mobile telephone or handheld electronic device.[2015, c. 113, §5 (AMD).]

[ 2015, c. 113, §§4, 5 (AMD) .]

  1. Prohibition.  A person who has not attained 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone or handheld electronic device.

[ 2007, c. 272, §1 (NEW) .]

  1. Penalty.  A person who violates this section commits a traffic infraction for which a fine of not less than $50 for the first offense and not less than $250 for a 2nd or subsequent offense may be adjudged.

[ 2007, c. 272, §1 (NEW) .]

SECTION HISTORY

2007, c. 272, §1 (NEW). 2015, c. 113, §§4, 5 (AMD).

 

§2118. Failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle

(REALLOCATED FROM TITLE 29-A, SECTION 2117)

  1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
  2. "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. [RR 2009, c. 1, §18 (RAL).]

[ RR 2009, c. 1, §18 (RAL) .]

  1. 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:
  2. 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[RR 2009, c. 1, §1 (RAL).]
  3. 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.[RR 2009, c. 1, §18 (RAL).]

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.

[ RR 2009, c. 1, §18 (RAL) .]

SECTION HISTORY

RR 2009, c. 1, §18 (RAL).

 

§2119. Text messaging while operating motor vehicle; prohibition

  1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
  2. "Cellular telephone" means a device used to access wireless telephone service.[2011, c. 207, §1 (NEW).]
  3. "Portable electronic device" means any portable electronic device that is not part of the operating equipment of a motor vehicle, including but not limited to an electronic game, device for sending or receiving e-mail, text messaging device, cellular telephone and computer.[2011, c. 207, §1 (NEW).]
  4. "Text messaging" means reading or manually composing electronic communications, including text messages, instant messages and e-mails, using a portable electronic device. "Text messaging" does not include using a global positioning or navigation system.[2011, c. 207, §1 (NEW).]
  5. "Operate" means driving a motor vehicle on a public way with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or a stop sign or otherwise stationary. "Operate" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has pulled the motor vehicle over to the side of, or off, a public way and has halted in a location where the motor vehicle can safely remain stationary.[2013, c. 381, Pt. B, §28 (NEW).]

[ 2013, c. 381, Pt. B, §28 (AMD) .]

  1. Prohibition.  A person may not operate a motor vehicle while engaging in text messaging.

[ 2011, c. 207, §1 (NEW) .]

  1. Penalties.  The following penalties apply to a violation of this section.
  2. A person who violates this section commits a traffic infraction for which a fine of not less than $250 may be adjudged.[2013, c. 188, §1 (NEW).]
  3. A person who violates this section after previously having been adjudicated as violating this section within a 3-year period commits a traffic infraction for which a fine of not less than $500 may be adjudged, and the Secretary of State shall suspend the license of that person without right to hearing. The minimum periods of license suspension are:

(1) Thirty days, if the person has 2 adjudications for a violation of this section within a 3-year period;

(2) Sixty days, if the person has 3 adjudications for a violation of this section within a 3-year period; and

(3) Ninety days, if the person has 4 or more adjudications for a violation of this section within a 3-year period.

For the purposes of this paragraph, an adjudication has occurred within a 3-year period if the date of the new conduct is within 3 years of the date of a docket entry of adjudication of a violation of this section. [2013, c. 188, §1(NEW).]

[ 2013, c. 188, §1 (RPR) .]