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May 17, 2023

CMP, state officials urge motorists to drive safely

CMP The scene of a crash involving a pole owned by Central Maine Power in Waterville. Motorists are being urged to drive with caution following a spate of accidents involving utility poles.

Following repeated motor vehicle crashes involving CMP utility poles and causing a disruption of service to thousands of customers, Central Maine Power is urging drivers to use caution and follow the rules of the road. 

Seven car crashes impacted service for around 6,000 CMP customers during the weekend of May 13-14 alone, according to a May 19 release. Excluding major storms, CMP recorded 510 incidents in which motor vehicles caused an outage in 2022, affecting 186,845 customers.

“Safe driving not only helps ensure your personal health and well-being, but also that of others,” said CMP spokesperson Jon Breed. “When one of our poles is damaged, we act quickly to make the area safe so first responders can conduct rescue operations. We then work to restore power to customers who may be affected by the crash. If even a single crash is prevented, that spares our customers from potential service disruption.”

The cost to repair a utility pole after a motor vehicle crash is approximately $5,000, although that number can vary, depending on the damage. A bill for repairs will go to the driver of the vehicle and payment of the bill often involves the driver’s insurance company.

“No one sets out to be in a crash, but when it happens, it can affect many other people besides just you,” said Lauren Stewart, director of Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. “First responders and power company lineworkers must respond to restore power and clear the scene. You have one job when you’re behind the wheel: just drive “ 

Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. Established in 1899 and based in Augusta, CMP serves approximately 646,000 customers across 346 communities in central and southern Maine. It operates approximately 23,500 miles of distribution lines and 2,900 miles of transmission lines. Over the last decade, the company has invested approximately $3.5 billion in Maine system infrastructure.   

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