Drivers pay more for repeat texting or phone offenses
As of October 2013, all handheld cell phone use has been banned while driving in Maryland including phone calls and texting. According to the new law, police officers will be able to pull over any driver they observe using a handheld device while driving. In addition, penalties for offenses will increase with every subsequent fine.
First-time offenders will be fined $83 for using a handheld cell phone while driving. A second offense will be fined $140 and every future offense will cost a driver $160. The only exception to this law will be calls made to 9-1-1 during an emergency.
It is also illegal for all bus drivers, drivers with learner’s permits and drivers under the age of 18 to operate cell phones in any manner, handheld or hands-free. Texting while driving is never permitted under any circumstances in Maryland. Texting while driving is also banned statewide in Virginia and in Washington, D.C.
The law change comes into effect after findings were released by AAA Mid-Atlantic that an estimated 58 of all vehicle crashes in 2012 involved distracted drivers, including 511 fatalities. It has also been documented that sending or reading a text takes 4.6 seconds, which at 55 miles per hour takes a driver over the length of a football field with their eyes off the road.
The new law brings even more attention to the increasing use of hand held devices and texting while driving on Maryland roads. Despite the fact that performing any kind of visual-manual task increases crash risks by three times the standard level, record numbers of drivers continue to use their phones while driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident because another driver was distracted by a text or phone call, you may be eligible for compensation for any vehicular damage and personal injury you’ve sustained.
The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC, follow new laws regarding texting and cell phone use while driving to provide the best representation in any motor vehicle claim. If you were in a car accident and you believe the other driver was texting at the time, contact an experienced legal representative to help confirm liability and determine what your legal options are. The law offices of Mallon & McCool, LLC, are located at 300 East Lombard Street in Baltimore, Maryland.