The new law takes effect in Maryland on October 1, tightening rules on cell phone use.
It is already illegal in Maryland to talk on the phone without using a hands-free device, but police can only ticket you if they pull you over for another infraction first.
Starting Tuesday, talking or texting while driving becomes a primary offense.
State officials say distracted driving is a factor in almost 58 percent of all vehicle crashes in Maryland. They want motorists to break the habit.
There is financial incentive. The fines are $83 for the first offense, $140 for a second offense and $160 for a third and subsequent offenses.
Maryland now joins the District of Columbia and 11 other states in which talking on the phone while driving is a primary offense.
Need to know: New cell phone and seat belt laws for driving in Maryland
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