Maryland Delegates Attempt to Beef Up Texting While Driving Laws.



Maryland lawmakers patted themselves on the back last year when they enacted legislation outlawing use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving. Just one problem, no tickets could be issued by police officers unless the miscreants were also guilty of another "primary" offense that would enable the officers to pull them over.

Which is to say you could drive around Prince Georges County or anywhere else in Maryland, texting to your heart's delight as long as you didn't speed or engage in some other overt illegal behavior that would get you pulled over in  the first place. Kind of defeated the purpose of outlawing texting while driving and other automotive cell phone dangerous behaviors and did little to reduce the overall incidence of car and truck crashes in Maryland.

So, the Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed new legislation making various dangerous cell phone behaviors "primary" offenses and thus subject to police action without regard to whether the offending driver was guilty of other driving infractions.  

The only problem, the Maryland Senate prospects for the bill are dimmer. Why that is the case is not readily evident but perhaps the tenous initial passage of this legislation last year may be a clue. 

 
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