Augusta – Facing what lawmakers call a “scourge” of distracted driving, the Maine State legislature passed a new bill to fine drivers caught looking for a copy of Skynyrd’s Greatest Hits CD in their car, even when stopped.
“Ultimately, the law is about stopping distracted drivers,” said Deputy John Smith of the Maine State Troopers.
“Not a day goes by I don’t see someone stopped at a stop sign, looking for a Led Zeppelin CD or trying to remember which Shania album has ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman,” Smith said.
“A lot of people think it’s ‘The Woman In Me,’ but it’s actually her subsequent album ‘Come On Over.'”
Smith said in the time it takes to figure out the mistake, disaster could strike. Lawmakers and policy experts suggest drivers purchase 6 disc changing systems, with a list of state-approved installers forthcoming.
Critics say the law is another example of Maine trying to solve a problem that no longer exists.
“It’s like the law requiring cable companies to offer individual channels. Hasn’t anyone in Augusta heard of internet streaming?” said one critic.
Still, Smith stands by the law.
“People in Maine need to be safe out there. Stopping to change to 311’s self-titled album is a dangerous distraction, especially if you can’t remember if you alphabetized it by name or by number.”
Smith also said the law is an important way for the state to raise revenue.
“I’m a cop, so if I say I saw you flipping through your giant CD case, good luck convincing a judge I was wrong. Just pay your $50 fine when told, like a good citizen.”