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Maine Legislature Considers Increase in Distracted Driving Fines
Car Accident

Maine Legislature Considers Increase in Distracted Driving Fines

Legislators in Maine are considering an increase in fines for distracted driving, particularly for using mobile devices behind the wheel. This bill was submitted by state representative Stanley Paige Zeigler, who firmly believes this proposal will help prevent catastrophic accidents that result from distracted driving. If enacted, this proposal would increase the current penalties and fines for using hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle. However, there has been some pushback on how effective the bill would be and other issues it could create.

This bill seeks to increase the fine from $50 to $500 for first-time offenders. For second-time offenders, the fine would increase from $250 to $1,000 with additional penalties considered. Supporters of the bill believe beefing up these fines will help prevent individuals from driving while distracted and causing dangerous collisions. According to attorney Meryl Poulin of Gideon Asen, LLC, increasing the penalties is about “…providing a consequence for an action. A penalty to be paid by a person who engages in dangerous behavior. And there’s no question that’s how it should be.”

On the other hand, those who oppose this bill argue that such penalties and fines could affect innocent individuals or citizens who may be unable to afford such fines, placing them in a cycle of debt. For individuals who do not regularly drive while distracted or those who already struggle to live with their daily expenses, adding more costs as a consequence would be harmful.

The hearing for this bill is fast approaching, and residents of Maine will have the opportunity to testify and voice their opinions on this proposal. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact Gideon Asen, LLC today to discuss your legal options.