We recently reported that the Maryland legislature was considering a ban on texting while driving in the state. Recently, both the Maryland House and the Senate have passed versions of the ban and are currently reconciling the bill before it is sent to the Governor’s desk for signature. Governor O’Malley has promised sign the bill into law and to make Maryland one of the growing number of states with text messaging bans.
The House version of the bill prohibits sending text messages while a driver is in travel lanes, even if the driver’s care is stopped at a red light. The Senate version of the law prohibits both sending and reading text messages while on Maryland roads. Under both versions of the bill, texting while driving will be a misdemeanor violation and violators will be subject to a fine of up to $500. Additionally, lawmakers have made texting while driving a primary offense, which means that police officers may pull over a suspected texter even if there is no evidence of other violations.
Although the Maryland Highway Safety Administration has not kept statistics of accidents involving texting while driving, distracted driving has been a factor in a number of automobile accidents in the state. Maryland accident attorneys believe that the texting ban will reduce the ever increasing level of distraction faced by drivers in this state.
Baltimore Sun Article