Baltimore, MD - The Senate Bill 321 that Governor O’Malley signed into law on May 20 goes into effect later this year. The message really is we need a culture change among Maryland motorists. Though the law doesn’t go into effect until October 1, drivers need to begin making the change from hand-held, to hands-free, or preferably, no cell phone use while driving…now!
Senate Bill 321 prohibits a driver of a motor vehicle that is in motion from using the driver's hands to use a hand-held telephone except to initiate or terminate a wireless call or to turn on or off the hand-held phone; providing that a violation of the Act may be enforced only as a secondary violation; establishing penalties of $40 for a first offense and $100 for a second offense; prohibiting a driver of a school vehicle or a holder of an instructional permit or provisional driver's license from using a hand-held phone while driving; etc.
Maryland is the seventh state in the nation to pass such a bill.
The ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving will go into effect on October 1, 2010.
Holiday Travel/Driving Safety Tips –
· If you need to use your cell phone while traveling, pull safely over to the side of the road before making the call. Taking your eye’s off the road to dig through your purse or look for your phone in the passenger seat could result in an accident or much worse.
· Use a hands-free device if you need to call someone while driving. A number of hands-free cell phone accessories are readily available today.
· For vacation travel this weekend, if you’re traveling with a companion, make sure that they have full control over reading a map or directions and using a cell phone to make calls. The driver should have both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road at all times.
· Make a plan – know your route in advance. If you’re driving in an unfamiliar place and get lost or miss an exit, pull over to the side of the road and safely call for assistance.
· A distracted driver is a careless driver. Do not combine distracting activities such as talking or texting on your cell phone while driving, eating, tuning the radio, turning around while driving, etc.
Established in 2008, Maryland Highway Safety Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate motorists, prevent collisions and save lives. Maryland Highway Safety Foundation is dedicated to improving highway safety and is committed to cut the number of traffic related deaths and injuries in half by 2014.
For more information, please visit www.mdhighwaysafety.org.
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