It can be tempting. There’s no traffic around, you’ve got something important to tell your wife or your babysitter or your colleague, and it will take just a split second to send that text.
So far, you’ve never gotten caught. You’ve never come close to having a car accident. What’s the harm, right?
Well, aside from the obvious and very real danger of hurting yourself or someone else, now it just might be easier to get caught.
Maine, like many states, has a law against texting while driving. And the law defines operating a vehicle to include those periods of time when you’re at a stoplight or stopped in traffic for some other reason. Even then, the law provides that you are not permitted to send or even read text messages. It’s also important to know that an officer can pull you over for texting alone, even if he or she doesn’t observe any other violation. There were 2,179 distracted driving-related stops in Maine in 2014, so obviously this is a real problem in our state.
The consequences can be serious if an officer cites you for texting while driving. There’s a $250 fine for the first offense, and $500 for a second offense. On top of that, if you have 2 or more citations for texting while driving in a three-year period, you will also face a period of license suspension that is determined by how many violations you’ve had. License suspension can affect your job, your family and your daily routine in many ways.
In our fast-paced society, a premium is placed on how efficient we can be, how much we can handle at one time, and how quickly and easily we can communicate with one another. It’s great to have the ability to send a quick text when you can’t carry on a longer conversation. BUT with that privilege comes the responsibility of behaving carefully so that the chances of hurting yourself or someone else are minimized.
Maine’s law is being strictly enforced and is intended to deter people from making those split-second decisions that can have terrible consequences. This should be an extra incentive to use caution behind the wheel and wait just a little longer before you send that message.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was distracted or texting at the time, it’s important to remember that you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. To learn more, contact a Maine personal injury lawyer from Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. for a FREE consultation.