June 19, 2024

IMPORTANT Changes to Maryland Traffic Law

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police lights

Photo by Scott Davidson

Posted by Mark’s Automotive
Leading Edge

New CELL PHONE and SEAT BELT LAWS Effective OCTOBER 1, 2013

Drivers, using hands to operate a handheld telephone you’re driving is just about to become a PRIMARY TRAFFIC OFFENSE.

It has been that illegal operation of a handheld telephone in a vehicle, that is using your hands to conduct a phone call while your driving instead of using a hands’ free device, only cost you a ticket if you were stopped for a primary traffic offense, such as speeding or recklessness. As of Oct. 1, using a phone with your hands while driving constitutes a primary offense, you can be pulled over and you will be ticketed.

 1st Offense is an $83.00 FINE, including court costs

2nd Offense is a $140.00 FINE

3rd and Subsequent Offense is a $160.00 FINE

If the violation contributes to an accident, THREE (3) POINTS will  be assessed in addition to the fine.

Fines are even higher on drivers using hands to use handheld telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle, 1st Offense is a $290.00 fine and also a primary traffic offense.

New INCREASED FINES

The following violations are now $83.00 FINES:

*Failing to secure a child under age of 8 in a child safety seat when transporting in a motor vehicle.

*Failing to transport a child under age of 16 in (child safety seat per instructions, seat belt).

*Using a (child safety seat, seat belt) to (restrain, seat, position) more than one individual.

*Operating a motor vehicle with (operator, occupant under age 16) not restrained by (seat belt, child safety seat).

*Passenger age 16 or more in outboard front seat of motor vehicle without seat belt restraint. Example of an “outboard front seat” is a front passenger seat next to a door.

New Secondary TRAFFIC OFFENSE

*Passenger age 16 or more in rear seat of motor vehicle without seat belt restraint. The FINE is $83.00, including court costs.

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