Maine Bill to Ban Teen Drivers’ Cell Phone Use Advances

May 21, 2007

A bill to ban teen drivers in Maine from using cell phones and other electronic devices has won unanimous approval from a legislative committee.

The original bill was supposed to ban the use of hand-held cell phones by minor drivers, but it was amended during a work session last week to include other electronic devices like video games and portable MP3 players like the Apple iPod.

“They broadened that (bill) to look at all causes of distractions,” said Jon Clark, deputy director of the state’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, who advised the Transportation Committee on the issue.

The amended proposal, which was approved by the Transportation Committee, would expand current law, which bans drivers under 18 with an intermediate license from using a cell phone for the first 180 days.

A separate bill to ban the use of hand-held cell phones by all drivers, including adults, was rejected 11-2 by the committee.

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