The conversation regarding cell phone use while driving has led to laws in many states limiting the use of phones in the car, including in Maryland. However, not everyone is familiar with the specifics of the laws in our state, so we’re here to help clarify, as well as to inform about new legislation slated to take effect this October.
Currently in Maryland, it is a primary offense to text while driving, meaning that a police officer who sees you driving can pull you over for that and that alone. The fine is $70 for the first offense. As of right now, talking on your phone is a secondary offense, meaning that you can’t be pulled over for only talking on your phone. If you are engaging in another moving violation while talking on your phone, you can be pulled over and ticketed for both offenses.
However, this will change in October, when talking on the phone while driving will become a primary offense. The first offense comes with a $40 ticket, and the second comes with a $100 ticket.
Hands free devices for talking while driving, such as bluetooth, are and will still be legal. However, as we mentioned in a previous blog about distracted driving, the safest bet is to pull over to talk on the phone, or wait until you reach your destination to make or return a call.
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