What Are The Cell Phone Driving Laws In Maryland?

What Are The Cell Phone Driving Laws In Maryland?

Maryland has been kicking up its efforts to curb highway auto accidents in recent years with distracted driving becoming a major focus. According to the state's Moving Vehicle Administration, distracted driving is responsible for an average of 27,000 injuries and fatalities annually with cell phone use being a common variable.

It is no surprise that Maryland has begun to crack down on cell phone distraction by prohibiting drivers from using hand-held devices. You can use your hands to operate the phone only to initiate a phone call, to end one or to turn the device on or off. Emergencies provide an exception to this rule as hand-held phones can be used to dial 9-1-1 or make other necessary emergency calls. Any other communication must be made using a hands-free system. Violations can result in a fine and, if the act results in a crash, you can be given points against your license.

Texting and driving are completely off the table as it is illegal to write, read or send a text message while driving a vehicle, along with any electronic messages. If you violate this law, you can face both a fine and be given a point. If a car accident results, both the fine and point amount increase.

Maryland also has "Jake's Law" on the books, which addresses cases in which serious injury or a fatality occurs. If you are using a hand-held cell phone or engaging in texting and driving when the auto accident occurs, you can receive up to three years in prison as well as a fine of up to $5,000.

This post is meant as an educational resource and should not be substituted for legal counsel.

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