2013 Maryland Code
TRANSPORTATION
§ 21-1124 - Prohibition against use of wireless communication device while driving by minor holding learner's permit or provisional license


MD Transp Code § 21-1124 (2013) What's This?

§21-1124.

(a) (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “9-1-1 system” has the meaning stated in § 1-301 of the Public Safety Article.

(3) “Wireless communication device” means a handheld or hands-free device used to access a wireless telephone service.

(b) This section does not apply to the use of a wireless communication device:

(1) To contact a 9-1-1 system; or

(2) As a text messaging device as defined in § 21-1124.1 of this subtitle.

(c) An individual who is under the age of 18 years may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.

(d) A police officer may enforce this section only as a secondary action when the police officer detains a driver for a suspected violation of another provision of the Code.

(e) (1) If the Administration receives satisfactory evidence that an individual has violated this section, the Administration:

(i) May suspend the individual’s driver’s license for not more than 90 days; and

(ii) May issue a restricted license for the period of suspension that is limited to driving a motor vehicle:

1. In the course of the individual’s employment;

2. For the purpose of driving to or from a place of employment; or

3. For the purpose of driving to or from school.

(2) An individual may request a hearing as provided for a suspension or revocation under Title 12, Subtitle 2 of this article.

§ 21-1124 - 1. Text messaging prohibited

(a) Definitions. --

(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) "9-1-1 system" has the meaning stated in § 1-301 of the Public Safety Article.

(3) "Text messaging device" means a handheld device used to send a text message or an electronic message via a short message service, wireless telephone service, or electronic communication network.

(b) In general. -- Subject to subsection (c) of this section, an individual may not use a text messaging device to write, send, or read a text message or an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle in the travel portion of the roadway.

(c) Exceptions. -- This section does not apply to the use of:

(1) A global positioning system; or

(2) A text messaging device to contact a 9-1-1 system.

(d) Sanctions. --

(1) If the Administration receives satisfactory evidence that an individual who is under the age of 18 years has violated this section, the Administration:

(i) May suspend the individual's driver's license for not more than 90 days; and

(ii) May issue a restricted license for the period of suspension that is limited to driving a motor vehicle:

1. In the course of the individual's employment;

2. For the purpose of driving to or from a place of employment; or

3. For the purpose of driving to or from school.

(2) An individual may request a hearing as provided for a suspension or revocation under Title 12, Subtitle 2 of this article.

§ 21-1124 - 2. Communications Traffic Safety Act

(a) Definitions. --

(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) "Handheld telephone" means a handheld device used to access wireless telephone service.

(3) "9-1-1 system" has the meaning stated in § 1-301 of the Public Safety Article.

(b) Exceptions to applicability of section. -- This section does not apply to:

(1) Emergency use of a handheld telephone, including calls to:

(i) A 9-1-1 system;

(ii) A hospital;

(iii) An ambulance service provider;

(iv) A fire department;

(v) A law enforcement agency; or

(vi) A first aid squad;

(2) Use of a handheld telephone by the following individuals when acting within the scope of official duty:

(i) Law enforcement personnel; and

(ii) Emergency personnel;

(3) Use of a handheld telephone as a text messaging device as defined in § 21-1124.1 of this subtitle; and

(4) Use of a handheld telephone as a communication device utilizing push-to-talk technology by an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR Part 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

(c) Persons prohibited from use of handheld telephone while driving. -- The following individuals may not use a handheld telephone while operating a motor vehicle:

(1) A driver of a Class H (school) vehicle that is carrying passengers and in motion; and

(2) A holder of a learner's instructional permit or a provisional driver's license who is 18 years of age or older.

(d) Prohibited use of handheld telephone while vehicle is in motion. --

(1) This subsection does not apply to an individual specified in subsection (c) of this section.

(2) A driver of a motor vehicle that is in motion may not use the driver's hands to use a handheld telephone other than to initiate or terminate a wireless telephone call or to turn on or turn off the handheld telephone.

(e) Enforcement as secondary offense. -- A police officer may enforce this section only as a secondary action when the police officer detains a driver for a suspected violation of another provision of the Code.

(f) Penalties. --

(1) A person convicted of a violation of this section is subject to the following penalties:

(i) For a first offense, a fine of not more than $ 40; and

(ii) For a second or subsequent offense, a fine of $ 100.

(2) For a first offense under this section, points may not be assessed against the individual under § 16-402 of this article unless the offense contributes to an accident.

(g) Penalties -- Waiver. -- The court may waive a penalty under subsection (f) of this section for a person who:

(1) Is convicted of a first offense under this section; and

(2) Provides proof that the person has acquired a hands-free accessory, an attachment or add-on, a built-in feature, or an addition for the person's handheld telephone that will allow the person to operate a motor vehicle in accordance with this section.

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