Florida may be about to pass a texting ban, but in other states, lawmakers are ironing out the kinks of measures that have been in place for years. Here in California, legislators are pondering whether or not to ban even hands-free texting while driving, with some arguing that focus is pulled even when a person’s hands aren’t involved.
Maryland lawmakers have now approved their own more stringent measure, which seeks to strengthen an officer’s ability to pull over someone talking or texting on their cellphone. Previously, a violation was deemed a secondary offense, meaning that an offender couldn’t be pulled over until their cellphone usage prompted them to commit some other dangerous maneuver.
A law passed by the Senate and the House of Delegates yesterday will change all that, switching the cellphone ban’s designation to that of a primary offense. The bill now will make its way to the desk of the Governor to be signed.
If caught, violators can expect to pay a fine of $75. If pulled over a second time, that number increases by $50, and subsequent offenses entail a fine of $175. If the Governor agrees to sign the measure, Maryland will join eight other states that have made cellphone usage of any kind a primary offense.