Maryland's distracted driving laws generally prohibit all motorists from talking on a handheld cell phone 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 cell phone violation.
Maryland has several laws that cover distracted driving. There's one law that prohibits text messaging and other laws that restrict the use of cell phones while driving.
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.
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.
The penalties for a distracted driving ticket depend on the type of offense (cell phone or texting) and whether the violation involved injuries or deaths.
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.
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.
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 of $5,000 in fines.