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Legislative Committee Supports Ban on Cellphones While Driving

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee has voted 11-1 to support legislation banning handheld electronic devices, like cellphones, while driving.

Lawmakers have resisted an outright ban on handheld devices for years. But Rep. Wayne Parry, a Republican from Arundel who has voted against similar legislation six times, says he supports this proposal.

“We have got to do something to stop people from texting, and if this gives the tools to the state police, I think this year I am going to have to support it,” he says.

Several committee members mentioned the statistics from the Maine State Police that over 40 percent of the accidents in the state are caused by distracted driving, with many the result of using a handheld device to call or text. The measure now goes to the full legislature for its consideration.