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Maryland bans using hand-held phones while driving

Posted On Tue, April 13, 2010

On Friday, Maryland joined other states that ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, becoming the seventh state to do so.

Insurance Journal reports that Maryland's House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed the legislation with a vote of 125-14. It is now awaiting Governor Martin O'Malley's signature and would take effect October 1.

Under the legislation, drivers will only be able to talk on hands-free cell phones. Turning the phone on and off are the only instances when drivers are allowed to use their hands. Holding the cell phone to talk while driving is prohibited.

Under the new legislation, drivers violating the law can only be pulled over if there is another reason for them to be stopped. First-time violators may be subject to a $40 fine.

While there are some opponents to the legislation, Maryland delegate Maggie McIntosh told Insurance Journal that drivers are "not just making phone calls. They're multitasking as they drive down the highway, and our kids are doing it too.''

Other states with the hand-held cell phone ban include Washington, D.C., California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, the Washington Post said.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19718593-ADNFCR

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