Maine lawmakers target driver distractions

| 8/6/2008

Two Maine state lawmakers would like to see the state’s distracted driving law tightened.

Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, and Sen. Roger Sherman, R-Houlton, said they believe that once the new legislative session begins there will be legislation introduced to shore up the law against motorists engaging in activities that distract them from driving.

Maine already prohibits drivers from watching television while behind the wheel, but it doesn’t exclude watching a computer. Diamond said he would like to see an overhaul of the distracted driving laws in the state to specify behavior that is inappropriate, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Sherman acknowledged that it is impossible to legislate common sense, but he said it is up to lawmakers to clarify what actions are against the law.

Others say that there have always been distractions for drivers. They cite such activities that include reading mail and newspapers. The popularity of hand-held electronic devices has heightened concern about driver distractions, they say.

The next regular session is scheduled to begin this December.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Maine in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor