2021 Maryland Statutes
Title 21 - Vehicle Laws -- Rules of the Road
Subtitle 11 - Miscellaneous Rules
Section 21-1124.2 - Communications Traffic Safety Act

    (a)    (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)    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)    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)    (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)    (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)    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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