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Cell Phone Use While Driving Becomes Primary Offense On Oct. 1

By Aaron Kraut

Friday - 9/20/2013, 2:00pm  ET

Flickr photo by victoriarmarUsing a handheld cell phone while driving is already illegal in Maryland, but starting soon police officers will be able to pull over drivers solely for doing it.

A new state law that goes into effect Oct. 1 makes using a handheld phone while driving a primary offense, meaning police officers can pull over drivers even if they aren’t committing another traffic offense.

The new law means a $100 ticket for texting, talking or emailing on a handheld phone while on the road.

The original handheld while driving law went into effect three years ago. There were almost 8,000 citations handed out for the secondary offense in 2011.

A dozen states and D.C. have laws against handheld cell phone use while driving. Maryland is the only one of those 12 where it is still a secondary offense. West Virginia started enforcing the law as a primary offense in July.

Flickr photo by victoriarmar