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AUGUSTA, Maine

Maine outlaws texting while driving

June 4, 2011

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Governor Paul LePage signed legislation yesterday that outlaws text messaging while driving, becoming the 33d state, along with the District of Columbia and Guam, to do so. The Maine law sets minimum fines at $100. LePage said drivers are seen all too often with one hand on the wheel and their attention diverted from the road to a cellphone. “While many motorists are able to multitask as they drive, the safest driving is done when drivers direct full attention to the road and their surroundings. The intent of this bill is to improve safety for everyone using Maine roads,’’ the governor said. Nearly 5,500 people in the United States were killed in distracted-driving accidents in 2009, according to federal transportation authorities.