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Bill would address crashes from distracted driving

Wednesday - 2/26/2014, 5:51am  ET

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A measure in Maryland would make it a misdemeanor to cause accidents resulting in serious injury, if the driver at fault was talking on a cellphone.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

It would create a penalty of up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Under current law, supporters of the bill say crashes caused by cellphone distracted driving typically result only in a traffic violation.

The measure is being named Jake's Law after 5-year-old Jake Owen, who was killed in a crash in 2011.

A measure in the House of Delegates is sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger, D-Baltimore. A Senate bill is being sponsored by Sen. Roger Manno, D-Montgomery.

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