Using Mobile Devices While Driving is Now Illegal

texting-while-drivingIn Maryland, a new law is in effect extending the ban on texting and using mobile phones while driving. This legislation was passed by the lawmakers two years ago; the open loophole is now closed.

In 2009, Maryland state legislators submitted a law prohibiting texting while driving, and in 2010 they submitted another law extending the prohibition to ban all cellphone use while driving, but emergency situations are in exception. But, the new laws left an open loophole that allows drivers or motorists to use their mobile phones while stopping at a red light, for example.

Last year, the state legislators passed the Maryland Texting While Driving Law, which closed loopholes left open and now stops all the motorists in Maryland from using any mobile device to write, send or read a message while driving any motor vehicle. This new law which went into effect on Oct. 1 does not cover using the GPS or Global Positioning Unit and texting 911 or texting in an emergency situation.

The new law is a primary enforcement law, this means that police officers do not have to stop a motorist for another charge to enforce the law. It is an offense that will enforce a fine of $70 at first and $100 for the second offense. While these laws helped make the traffic accidents decrease, studies show that some motorists are still ignoring them.

However, traffic accidents reduced to 496, this is the lowest total in three years. The dramatic drop is partially attributed to the strict enforcement about the dangers in using mobile devices while driving.

“We have seen dramatic declines in traffic fatalities in Maryland in recent years and we want that trend to continue,” according to Col. Marcus Brown, Maryland State Police Superintendent. “That is why police officers across Maryland are working with state and local agencies to inform and educate our citizens about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving. We know these activities can be major distractions to drives and can have deadly consequences.” He added.