The debate about the dangers of texting while driving is over, it’s time for lawmakers to act to protect the public. A ban on texting is essential and is a proper follow-up to last year’s ambiguous ‘distracted while driving’ law.
Auburn, ME (Vocus/PRWEB) April 04, 2011
Stephen B. Wade, a Maine personal injury lawyer with the downtown Auburn legal firm of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott this week urged the Maine legislature to act this month on adopting a proposed ban on texting while driving.
“The debate about the dangers of texting while driving is over, it’s time for lawmakers to act to protect the public,” said Wade, who is perennially named to the Best Lawyers in America in personal injury. “A ban on texting is essential and is a proper follow-up to last year’s ambiguous ‘distracted while driving’ law.”
The current bill, L.D. 736, is now before the state Senate. It would specifically make texting while driving illegal and institute a $100 fine for sending a text message from a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Also pending in the legislature is L.D. 670, which would ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.
Last year’s distracted-driving law enacted fines ranging from $25 to $500 for any activity that isn't necessary to the operation of the vehicle and that could reasonably be expected to impair driving. The law does not prohibit any specific activities.
“Good law is clear law,” Wade said. “We need this new, specific ban on texting while driving.”
Wade, who has devoted his 30-year career to representing individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others, said the number of studies analyzing texting while driving and the action of other states indicate that Maine’s legislature needs to act.
“The American Medical Association says texting increases the time a driver’s eyes are not on the road by 400 percent, and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said texting increases the risk of a car accident by 23 times,” Wade said. “Even Car and Driver magazine studied it and found that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving.
“No one thinks texting while driving is harmless; we know this is a safety hazard,” Wade said. “April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time for Maine to catch up with the rest of New England and the many other states that have properly dealt with this issue already.”
Thirty states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, and Maine is the only New England state that has not adopted the prohibition.
About Skelton, Taintor & Abbott
Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, located in downtown Auburn, Maine, has earned a reputation since 1853 as one of Maine’s most respected law firms. Several of the firm’s attorneys are listed in The Best Lawyers in America and New England Super Lawyers. The trial attorneys of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott practice in state and federal trial courts in a variety of personal injury cases and have successfully handled cases for numerous vehicle accident victims throughout the state of Maine. For more information, contact the Maine car accident attorneys of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott at (207) 784-3200 or through the online contact form.