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 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's Distracted Driving (Texting and Cell Phones) Law

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'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 Maryland's Texting-While-Driving 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.

Maryland's Hand's Free Cell Phone Driving Law

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

Exceptions to Maryland's Cell Phone Driving 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 Distracted Driving (Texting and Cell Phone) Tickets in Maryland

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.

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.

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.

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 of $5,000 in fines.

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