If you don’t know how to make a hands-free phone call while driving, you have until September 19 to figure it out. That’s when a new law takes effect banning all use of phones and other handheld electronic devices for most drivers. 

Maine already had a ban on texting and driving, but the new law expands that to include making calls and clarifies that the ban includes when a driver is stopped in traffic, or at a red light or stop sign. Commercial drivers and bus drivers will be exempt from the new law, and calling in an emergency situation is allowed when “there is an immediate threat to the health or well-being of any person.”

Hands-free devices are okay under the new law, as is texting or calling from the driver’s seat when the car is pulled over in a safe place.

First offenders can be fined up to $250, and repeat offenders can have their licenses suspended for 30 to 90 days, depending on the number of previous violations. 

Money collected from fines will go into a new fund to be used by the Department of Transportation for transportation-related projects and services.