Distracted Driving Tickets Skyrocket In Maryland - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Distracted Driving Tickets Skyrocket In Maryland

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MARYLAND - Texting while driving became a primary offense in Maryland back in October.  Since then, new data shows electronic tickets for distracted driving have skyrocketed.

Pay attention behind the wheel in Maryland or you'll get slapped with more than a warning.  Nearly 6,800 e-tickets were issued for distracted driving between October 2013 and April of this year, up from just about 5,000 for all of 2013.

As police in Maryland hopped on the "U Text U Drive U Pay" campaign in April, more than 1,000 citations were issued to distracted drivers by Maryland State Troopers, with Wicomico County toward the front of the pack with 229.

Last October, using your hands to operate a phone while driving became a primary offense in Maryland, with a fine up of up to $160 dollars for multiple offenses.  This year, lawmakers cracked down even harder on distracted driving.

Jake's Law, named after 5 year-old Jake Owen, who was killed when a texting driver rammed into his family car, increases the penalties for people who cause accidents resulting in death or serious injury.

Offenders using handheld phones behind the wheel face up to a year in jail, and a $5,000 fine.

Chris in Ocean City "if you save one life , it's all with doing."

With the summer season ramping up, and Ocean City set to swell with hundreds of thousands of visitors, folks we spoke with at the beach say there's no better time to put an end to it.

"You have kids walking, and all the tourists," said Jody from Baltimore.

For Mary, "the more people, the more dangerous."

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