Governor Signs Bill to Toughen Distracted Driving Law & Promote Safety

April 24, 2012

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage signed a bill today that promotes safer driving among motorists and increases fines associated with distracted driving. Governor LePage was joined by Secretary of State Charlie Summers, Legislators and supporters of the measure as he gave his signature to LD 1912, “An Act To Encourage Responsible Teen Driving” Tuesday. Senator Bill Diamond, D-Cumberland, sponsored the bill.

“Today’s drivers have a variety of distractions that can take their eyes off the road,” said Governor LePage. “I applaud Secretary Summers and Sen. Diamond for taking a proactive role to promote safe driving. All drivers, not only teens, are at risk when distracted driving occurs. We must emphasize the importance of safety and set examples for our teens while they’re behind the wheel. I support this bill with the hope it draws attention to safety and saves lives.”

Secretary Summers led the effort to pass LD 1912. The bill was approved by the Legislative Council as an after deadline bill in response to the high number of teen fatalities occurring in Maine over the past four months. The bill increases the minimum fine for texting while driving from $100 to $250, increases fines and terms of license suspensions for violating conditions on a juvenile provisional license, and increases the amount of time a repeat offender would lose his or her provisional license.

“I am thankful for the bipartisan support for these essential changes. The willingness to take immediate action on this important issue is a huge accomplishment as we head into the 2012 prom and graduation season, where young drivers traditionally experience 8 of the 10 deadliest days of the year,” said Secretary Summers.

The law will take effect 90 days after the 125th Legislature adjourns.