The Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others to remind drivers that driving distracted is dangerous and illegal and 100% preventable.

Bureau Director Lauren Stewart said:

If you need to text, need to attend to children, or pick up that dropped item, pull over to a safe place, park, and conduct your business. No call, text, or other distraction is worth risking your life or taking someone else’s life. More than 3100 people lost their lives due to distracted driving in America in just 2020.Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. According to MeBHS, each year in Maine, on average distracted driving results in more than 
3446 crashes, more than 535 injuries and approximately 45 deaths. No text or phone call while driving is worth your life.

Law enforcement agencies around the state will be on the lookout for distracted drivers while supporting the national campaign beginning April7 and ending April 11. Violating Maine’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. A first offense will be $50.00 but the second and subsequent violations will be $250.00.

The Bureau offers some tips for a safe driving experience:

  • Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Also, ask your passenger to be on the lookout for other drivers who may not be paying attention.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

The Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Highway Safety urges drivers to JUST DRIVE when behind the wheel. Your life or someone else’s could depend in it.

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