Hundreds of Tickets Written in First Month of Hands Free Law
According to an article in the KJ, some 232 tickets were written for hands-free distracted driving violations in the first month of the new law being enforced. That number is a little higher than the legislative analysts had predicted during the law's inception. Experts predicted under the law, Maine police would write about 1,100 tickets for violations of the hands-free law by June 30th, 2020. With this first month's numbers in the books, that number could be closer to 1,800.
Augusta Police have only written 3 tickets under this new law so far. According to Augusta Police officer, Sgt. Christian Behr, because of the city's dense population, APD spends most of its time responding to 'calls of service' and 'less time watching traffic'. He indicated that if the city were to receive additional grants for overtime traffic detail, they would see the number of tickets written increase.
Law enforcement only needs to see a cell phone in a driver's hand to pull them over and write a $50 ticket. Get stopped a second time and drivers could face a fine of $325.
" Legislative analysts predicted that in the first full fiscal year that ends June 30, 2021, police could write 5,500 citations, or about 458 tickets per month, worth an estimated $517,000 in new revenue that will supplement the state transportation budget and bring in an additional $82,700 in fees. By comparison, police wrote about 1,600 tickets for texting while driving in 2018, resulting in more than 1,300 convictions. "