Secretary of State Charlie Summers would like to remind Maine motorists that new driving regulations, passed into law by the 125th legislature, will go into effect on Thursday, August 30, 2012. This law is among others that will become active 90 days after the close of the 2012 legislative session.
LD 1912, “An Act To Encourage Responsible Teen Driving,” the product of collaboration between Secretary of State Summers, bill sponsor Senator Bill Diamond and the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation, was signed into law this past April. The resulting changes to the current regulations include an increase in fines and terms of license suspensions for violating conditions on juvenile provisional and intermediate licenses.
“I am thankful for the bipartisan support for these essential changes; the willingness to take immediate action on this important issue is a huge accomplishment. If these changes prevent one crash or death, then the laws have accomplished what they were meant to,” Summers said.
Drivers that commit a traffic violation while operating on a juvenile provisional license will now receive a 30-day license suspension for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense and a one year suspension for third or subsequent offenses. In addition to the $50 reinstatement fee, the driver will also be required to complete a driver improvement course in order to restore his/her driving privileges. Drivers who commit major violations such as driving under the influence, operating after suspension and criminal speeding will face a $200 reinstatement fee; possibly community service and will have to pass another driver license examination, in addition to the aforementioned requirements, in order to regain their ability to drive in Maine.
The restrictions that apply to drivers operating with an intermediate license- which include no passengers except family members, no driving between midnight and 5 a.m. and no cell phone use-will be extended from six to nine months. A violation of any of the conditions of an intermediate license will result in a suspension of driving privileges for 60 days for the first offense, 180 days for a second offense and 1 year for a third or subsequent offense
While the majority of regulations implemented by this new law focus on young drivers, the minimum fine for texting and driving, which has been increased from $100 to $250, applies to all drivers. According to the Maine State police, texting and driving is a leading contributor to highway crashes.