Message to Maryland motorists: Hang up and drive - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Message to Maryland motorists: Hang up and drive

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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.

Related Story:

Need to know: New cell phone and seat belt laws for driving in Maryland

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