New Motor Vehicle Laws for Maryland

On Tuesday, October 1st, new laws go into effect in Maryland affecting how you use your cell phone and seat belts in your vehicle.

Use of Wireless Communication Device – Prohibited Acts
This new law makes the handheld use of a cell phone by a driver enforceable as a primary offense, meaning that the police may stop an individual for these offenses without the driver committing any other offenses. The law also increases the maximum fines to drivers who are 18 years of age or older to $75 for the first violation, $125 for the second violation, and $175 for a third or subsequent violation. This law was previously a secondary offense which meant the driver could only be detained for a separate violation.

Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats
This new law increases the penalties associated with violations of the seat belt and child safety seat laws from $25 to $50. This law also removes the “floater law” which allowed a driver to transport more children in a vehicle than the number of proper securing locations. The law also expands the adult passenger (at least 16 years of age) seat belt requirement to all positions in the vehicle, but makes the violation in the back seat a secondary violation, enforceable only when the driver is detained for a separate violation.

These new laws are only for Maryland. If you travel to the college from Pennsylvania please refer to the Pennsylvania laws as they may be different. We want to keep you safe as your travel to and from the college.

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