Distracted Driving


  • Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland’s cell phone law prohibits a driver from using a handheld cell phone while a motor vehicle is in motion.
  • This is a primary offense. Law enforcement officers can stop a driver solely for using a handheld cell phone while driving – no other offense is needed.
  • Drivers will receive a fine (including court costs) of up to:
    • $83 – first offense

    • $140 – second offense
    • $160 – third & subsequent offense
  • Why do we have this new law?
    • Nationally, 80% of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.
    • On average, more than 30,000 people in Maryland are injured annually as a result of distracted driving crashes.


  • Park the Phone Before You Drive! Talking on a cell phone or texting is a leading source of driver distraction.
  • Manage Your Time. Driving is not the time to talk or text on a cell phone.
  • Drive Defensively. Just because you don’t drive distracted doesn’t mean that others won’t.
  • Ride Responsibly. If you are a passenger and a driver is using a handheld cell phone, ask them to pull over or wait until they arrive at the destination.  Avoid causing distractions as well.
  • Set a good example!Adults who use a handheld cell phone while driving are sending children the message that those behaviors are acceptable.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, University of Maryland Baltimore – National Study Center for Trauma and EMS