The Maryland House of Delegates passed a measure Thursday to strengthen laws against distracted driving.
The House voted 106-29 to make talking on a handheld cellphone while driving a primary offense. That means a police officer could pull a driver over if observed talking on a cellphone.
Now, police only can ticket someone for driving while talking on a handheld cellphone if the driver has been pulled over for another offense.
The fine under current law is $40 for a first offense, and points may not be assessed against the driver’s license unless the offense contributes to an accident.
The fine would be raised to a maximum of $500 under the bill, and points could be assessed.
The measure now goes to the Senate.