“Hands Free” in the “Free State” of Maryland – or else !

on the roads and reduce “distracted driving” (or “driving under the influence of technology” or “DUIT” as I have previously called it). Maryland’s legislators hope that enforcement of this new law will lead to a decrease in the number of car crashes and fatal accidents on Maryland highways.

  • What is the fine for the offense?

The fine for a first offense would be $40 and subsequent offenses would be $100. Points will not be assessed to the first-time violator’s driving record, except, three points are assessed if the violation contributed to a crash. One point is assessed for a second or subsequent offense.

  • Is this the same law as the texting law?

No, Maryland also bans texting while driving. This law prohibits an individual from writing or sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion or in the travel portion of the highway. If convicted of violating this law a person may be assessed a fine not exceeding $500. This law does not apply to texting 9-1-1 or using a global positioning system.

  • Why is this law needed?

Studies indicate that cell phone conversations distract a driver and delays reaction time, which can cause and increase the severity of a vehicular crash. The National Safety Council has estimated that cell phone use is responsible for 1.6 million crashes a year, nationally — about 28 percent of all crashes. Maryland now joins 7 other states (Calif., Conn., Del., N.J., N.Y., Ore. and Wash.), D.C. and the Virgin Islands in banning handheld cell phone use while driving. For more information, please visit www.ChooseSafetyForLife.com

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