Maryland Texting & Driving Bill
The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill Thursday for stiffer penalties if drivers are caught texting and driving.
By a vote of 77-59 in the House, this bill is on its way to the State Senate. If passed, violators could be required to make a mandatory court appearance and pay up to 500 dollars.
"This is something that could definitely help the situation because there are individuals out there every day that are consistently not getting off their phones," said Wicomico County Lt. Tim Robinson, "It's non stop."
Currently if drivers are pulled over for texting, they can get off with just a 75 dollar fine for a first offense or as much as 175 dollars if caught more than twice.
"We've received a lot of feedback from the district — A lot of phone calls of people asking for a little bit more of a stronger deterrent against people using cell phones openly while driving.," said District 38 B Delegate Carl Anderton, Jr.
Lawmakers in opposition say the existing penalties are fine as is, but police are hopeful that this new bill will pass and make people think twice before committing a crime.
"We're hopeful [the bill] is going to make roads safer because there [are] many accidents we handle and talking on a cell phone or texting on a cell phone is a contributing factor," Anderton said.
For more information on the bill, visit: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=02&id=HB0042&tab=subject3&ys=2018RS.