Lawmakers Want to Expand Hands-free Driving Law to Parking Lots
Just months after the new hands-free law banned hand-held cellphones for drivers, lawmakers are considering making a change.
It's been an adjustment for drivers, who are now forced to use hands-free devices, like Bluetooth, to talk on the phone while operating their vehicles in a 'public way.' But most would agree that the law has eliminated one of the biggest and most dangerous distractions. Now, lawmakers say they want to expand the law to include parking lots, which are often privately owned and, legally, not considered a public way.
Senator Bill Diamond, of Cumberland, sponsored the original bill, and is now looking to make some changes. He told WGME-TV that parking lots are very dangerous, because there are already enough distractions, between pedestrians, other vehicles, and drivers looking for the perfect spot, without the addition of texting or making calls on handheld phones. Diamond adds that, if a driver is in a parked car, then it would be okay to talk on a handheld phone, but the new proposed addition to the law would make it illegal if the vehicle is moving.
AAA of Northern New England supports the bill, which will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m.