By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine officials are rolling out a new initiative aimed at curbing distracted driving.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage helped announce the effort, which includes placing messages on the side of 16 commercial trucks in the state that urge drivers to not to text or make phone call on the road.

Officials said Tuesday that more truck drivers will be included in the effort in the future.

LePage said that 8,000 crashes and 41 deaths in Maine have been caused by distracted driving over the last three years.

He also pledged that if he’s re-elected, he will introduce legislation in January to toughen the penalties for distracted drivers.



Texting while driving is banned in Maine, but it’s legal to use a hand-held cellphone to make calls.

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