Maryland's distracted driving laws generally prohibit all motorists from talking on a handheld cellphone or text messaging while driving. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs and other consequences of a texting or cellphone violation.
In Maryland, it's illegal for all drivers to use a handheld telephone while operating a motor vehicle.
Generally, the cellphone ban doesn't apply when the call is made for emergency purposes such as calling 9-1-1, a hospital, an ambulance, law enforcement, or the fire department. And the cell phone restriction doesn't apply to law enforcement and emergency services personnel acting within the scope of their official duties.
Fines. A cell phone ticket carries maximum fines of:
Points. However, cell phone violations won't add points to the motorist's driving record unless the violation contributed to an accident.
License suspension. For drivers who are under the age of 18, a cell phone ticket can also result in a license suspension of up to 90 days.
Maryland law prohibits all motorists from writing, sending, or reading a text message while operating a vehicle in the traveled portion of a roadway.
Maryland's text-messaging ban doesn't apply to GPS (global positioning systems) or using a text messaging device to contact 9-1-1.
Fines. A texting violation is a misdemeanor and carries up to $500 in fines.
Points. Texting violations will add one point to the motorist's driving record.
License suspension. Drivers who are under 18 years old may face a license suspension of up to 90 days for a texting violation.
A texting or cell phone violation that leads to serious bodily injury or the death of another person carries additional penalties of up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $5,000 in fines.
Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cellphone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.