Hey my Maryland driving peeps, read THIS!
Maryland has enacted a set of laws concerning cell phone use while driving. Every driver on the road is forbidden from talking or texting on a handheld phone while driving. Drivers with full, unrestricted licenses are permitted to use Bluetooth, speakerphone, or a wireless headset to make a call while driving. Drivers under 18 or those with a provisional license are prohibited from making any type of call while driving, including hands-free calls.
Maryland texting laws are considered “primary” laws and Maryland cell phone laws are considered “secondary” laws. A primary law means an officer can pull you over for the offense without witnessing another offense. For example, if you are texting while following every other traffic law, an officer can still pull you over. A secondary law means that an officer can only pull you over for the offense if you are committing another offense. For example, if you are talking on a handheld phone, an officer cannot pull you over unless you are breaking another law, like speeding. That being said, if an officer pulls you over for breaking another law, you can get a ticket for the original offense and the cell phone offense.
In Maryland, the fine for making a call with a handheld phone while driving is $40 for a first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. The fines for texting while driving vary but cannot exceed $500.
Why then is virtually EVERYONE still driving with a phone in their hand? Look around. I know you see it too!!
Do you need help in changing this habit?
Here is how I did it! I found a FREE app called EVERDRIVE that scores your driving based on FIVE factors.
- Phone Use
It tracks how many drives you've made WITHOUT touchibng your phone. You CAN still place or take a phone call while driving without getting 'dinged' by the app AS LONG AS THE ENTIRE CALL was made HANDS FREE. Both hands can remain on the steering wheel while I hit a button on my wheel to ask for a call to be made. But there's ZERO texting and other distracted driving.
After 90 days of using the app, based on scores, you receive offers for insurance discounts. The scoring system of this app has given me positive reinforcement that has helped me break this bad and illegal habit. I honestly found myself reaching for my phone in the beginning and then as I reached out I realized what I was doing and stopped. It has turned driving into a challenge of actually following the law, obeying speed limits and being careful enough to not brake too hard or accelerate too fast. I feel like this really does make me a better safer driver. As I drive with both hands on the wheel, at the speed limit, it's interesting to notice just how many others are not.
I've been using this app now for TWO MONTHS and like wearing a seat belt, I swear by it now and have created a new habit. I challenge you to do the same thing, before it's too late!