Don’t use your cell phone while driving! After a formal discussion today, Maryland will become the 8th state to ban drivers from talking on a handheld cell phone. The new cell phone law will take effect this week. The goal of the law is to prevent distracted driving and distracted drivers.
Eight other states and the District of Columbia have all banned handheld cell phone use for all drives. Those 8 other states include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. Delaware recently also approved a cell phone usage while driving ban that will take effect in January of the new year. Maryland has already banned sending text messages while driving last year.
If caught while using a cell phone while driving in Maryland, drivers could be fined $40 for their first violation. Subsequent violations will result in a $100 fine. The cell phone ban is considered a secondary offense. This means that drivers can only be pulled over if they are committing another traffic offense. Phone calls to 911, ambulance, hospital, fire, or law enforcement officials or agencies are allowed.
Over 380 people have died from driving distracted in Maryland crashes during the past 5 years according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. The administration hopes that the handheld cell phone ban will significantly decrease the amount of driving injuries in Maryland.