2018 Maryland Code
Transportation
Title 21 - Vehicle Laws -- Rules of the Road
Subtitle 11 - Miscellaneous Rules
§ 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 C.F.R. 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) 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 $ 75;

      • (ii) For a second offense, a fine of not more than $ 125; and

      • (iii) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not more than $ 175.

    • (2) Points may not be assessed against the individual under § 16-402 of this article unless the offense contributes to an accident.

  • (f) Penalties -- Waiver. -- The court may waive a penalty under subsection (e) 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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