Hand-held phone use while driving now a primary offense in Md.

Hand-held phone use while driving now a primary offense in Md.

Starting October 1, drivers texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving may be pulled over and ticketed solely for that violation. It was previously a secondary offense, meaning the police had to pull over the driver for another violation and then could also ticket him or her for cell phone use. Drivers younger than 18 may not use any type of cell phone, even hands-free. Fines are $75, $125 and $175 for the first, second and third offense.

Also effective October 1, all of a vehicles occupants age 16 or older, including those in the rear seat, must wear a seat belt. Although violation of this law is a secondary offense, the driver can be fined up to $50 per unbelted occupant.

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