You can be ticketed for using your handheld phone!
By now most of you are undoubtedly aware of the law that took effect October 1, 2013 which banned handheld cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle in Maryland. This law comes as a result of heightened awareness surrounding motor vehicle and pedestrian related accidents involving distracted drivers. In 2012, AAA reported that 58% of automobile accidents were caused by distracted driving.
Prior to October 1, 2013, talking on a handheld device was still against the law. However, it was only a secondary offense. This means that you could you be pulled over or receive a citation for using your cellular phone UNLESS you were cited for another violation. Now, talking or using a handheld device is a primary offense and gives police cause to stop and issue you a citation. No other violations are required. Tickets can range from $45 to $75.
What some people still do not realize about this change in the law is that any use of a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle is a violation. This includes texting and emailing. Not only writing a text or email but reading a text or email is a violation. Points will NOT be placed against your driving record unless you are actually talking on you cellular device.
We believe, as do most to states across the United States, critical steps must be taken to help keep our drivers safe. There are only a few things that cause the same level of distraction as a cellular device. Let’s all make in a priority to do what we can to keep our roads safe by putting our cell phones down.