Many new laws go into effect October 1st in Maryland. Here are three we wanted to make sure you know about. Two laws could affect your everyday driving, and one may make you shake your head.
Starting October 1 you can get pulled over for using your cell phone while driving without a hand’s free device. While it has been against the law to use a cell phone in Maryland while driving, you could only be issued that ticket if you were pulled over for some other offense. Under the new law, fines are increased to $75 for a first offense, $125 for a second offense and $175 subsequent offenses.
If this new law is the thing that will get you to buy a hand’s free device we ask that you do not try to figure out the device while driving. Please set it up at home and get familiar with the device before you get on the road. Also keep in mind that many studies have shown that talking on these devices can distract your attention from the road. When behind the wheel make driving your number one focus.
Maryland has also expanded the mandatory use of seatbelts. Now all passengers who are not in a car seat must wear a seatbelt. The fines for such an offense increased to $50 per person. Tickets for back seat violations remain a secondary offense. Remember seatbelts save lives, so make sure that you and all your passengers buckle up.
Another new law expands Maryland’s definition of Motor Vehicle to include motor scooters and mopeds. This expanded definition applies to laws regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol. Sorry golf carts, ATVs and just about every other kind of vehicle were already covered under the definition. For more information on traffic laws see our guides.
You can go to the Maryland Legislature’s page for a synopsis of all the new Maryland laws that were passed during the 2013 General Assembly.