New Traffic Laws Involving Cell Phones and Seatbelts

On October 1, 2013, new motor vehicle laws take effect in Maryland pertaining to cell phone use and seatbelts.

The use of cell phones without a hands-free device, whether talking or texting, will now be a primary offense. This means that the police can pull you over if an officer observes you using a cell phone while driving. Before, the officer could cite you for a cell phone violation as a secondary offense, but only after the officer pulled you over for some other violation. With the new law, the police will be able to pull drivers over solely for violating the law on cell phone use while operating the vehicle. Additionally, the law ups the fine for drivers from $40 to $75, so getting caught will hit the pocketbook a bit harder than before.

The new seatbelt law requires all passengers to use seatbelts, including adults riding in the backseat. The violation is a secondary offense with fines increased from $25 to $50. The law requires that there be a seatbelt for every passenger in the vehicle. These new motor vehicle laws are meant to improve public safety. They were passed earlier this year, 2013, by the General Assembly and go into effect as part of a new fiscal year for the state of Maryland which begins October 1, 2013.

Fred Antenberg is an attorney who is located in Columbia, Maryland and provides legal services to individuals and businesses in Howard County and surrounding counties. Call Fred at 410-730-4404.