Starting in September, holding your cell phone up to your ear while driving could cost you $250 - or more.
Maine has had a distracted driving law for years, but police say it's been hard to enforce because it's difficult to tell whether a driver holding a phone is using it to talk or text or search the web.
State Sen. Bill Diamond, of Windham, sponsored the new measure that prohibits holding a cellphone while driving.
“We had to remove that phone, that electronic device from the hands of people while they are driving," Diamond says. "That’s all this bill does.”
Beginning in September, holding your cell phone up to your ear while driving could result in a $250 fine - with increasing fines and possible license suspension for repeat offenses.
Highway safety advocates say misuse of cell phones has become a national epidemic causing accidents and fatalities.
"It’s time to put down your phones or electronic devices and just pay attention to your driving," says Maine State Police Lt. Bruce Scott. "Taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the driving task is a deadly combination. So, remember to just drive.”
Originally published July 2, 2019 at 1:45 p.m. ET.