By: Drew Schaeffer
New traffic laws take effect today in Maryland concerning cell phone use while driving and seat belts. According to these laws, you can now get pulled over if you’re using a handheld cell phone while driving, while seat belts are now required for all backseat passengers. We’ve explained the changes in further detail below, but if you need help with a traffic claim in the Montgomery County area, call us to schedule a consultation.
Cell Phone Use While Driving
Before Oct. 1, 2013, using a handheld mobile phone while driving was a secondary offense, which meant you could not be pulled over and cited solely for driving while using your phone. This applied to holding the phone while talking or texting. You would only receive a ticket for this secondary offense if you violated this law while being pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding or running a red light.
As of Tuesday October 1st this is no longer the case. Using a handheld cell phone while driving will now be a primary offense and you can be pulled over and fined $75, up from the prior fine of $40, for a first time offense. (Subsequent offenses carry fines in excess of $75). This citation will carry no points, unless the mobile phone use was a contributing factor to an accident.
New Seat Belt Laws
Another traffic law taking effect on October 1st will require all backseat passengers to wear seat belts. Although it may come as a shock, before October 1st only children 16 and under (unless the child is 4 foot 9 inches or taller and over the age of eight) were required to wear a seatbelt while riding in the back seat of a car. The new seat belt law makes riding in the backseat without a seat belt a secondary offense, and a fine of $50 may be assessed if caught while being pulled over for a primary offense.
Furthermore, drivers will no longer be allowed to have more passengers than seat belts in the motor vehicle.
Traffic Lawyers in Maryland
Are you looking for a traffic lawyer in Maryland that can help you resolve your recent claim? Andalman & Flynn can provide you with the legal assistance you need in the Montgomery County area. For representation in all types of traffic cases, including driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, contact attorneys Mary Ellen Flynn or Peter Casciano at 301-563-6685 or fill out an online contact form and we’ll get back to you to schedule a consultation.