Maryland’s Texting-While-Driving and Distracted Driving Laws

Read about Maryland’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a texting or cellphone ticket.

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.

Maryland's Cell Phone Driving Law

In Maryland, it's illegal for all drivers to use a handheld telephone while operating a motor vehicle.

Exceptions to the Cell Phone Law

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.

Penalties for Cell Phone Tickets in Maryland

Fines. A cell phone ticket carries maximum fines of:

  • $75 for a first violation
  • $125 for a second violation, and
  • $175 for a third or subsequent violation.

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's Text Messaging Law

Maryland law prohibits all motorists from writing, sending, or reading a text message while operating a vehicle in the traveled portion of a roadway.

Exceptions to the Texting Law

Maryland's text-messaging ban doesn't apply to GPS (global positioning systems) or using a text messaging device to contact 9-1-1.

Penalties for Texting Tickets in Maryland

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.

Distracted Driving Involving Injuries or Deaths

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.

Possible Charges Resulting From Distracted Driving

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.

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