The same state representative that recently presented another mandatory motorcycle helmet bill to the Legislature's Transportation Committee, has now filed an act to prohibit the use of handheld cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle.

Representative Paulette Beaudoin of Biddeford, has tried to get cell phone use while driving banned in the past.  This new bill would ban the use of handheld mobile telephones unless there hands-free features were being used.  Operators of emergency vehicles, physicians, holders of commercial driver's licenses, municipal public works personnel, Maine Turnpike Authority and DOT personnel would be excluded and permitted to use handheld devices while driving.

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How many times have you been driving down the road, only to see someone talking on a cell phone, veering into your lane of travel?  How many times have you seen someone yakking away with one hand on the wheel breezing through an intersection?  Is talking on the phone in these instances more important than paying attention to the road?

During Wednesday's public hearing, a representative from AAA of New England said that 90 percent of people fear distracted driving as much as they fear those who drive drunk.  the AAA spokesperson said that talking on a cell phone while driving is every bit as distracting as texting.

So far ten states have banned the use of hand held cell phone devices while driving, will Maine be the next?

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