Maryland SB 321: the Delegate John Arnick Electronic Communications Traffic Safety Act goes into effect on October 1 2010. This law requires people who are operating motor vehicles in the state of Maryland to use a hands-free device.
This is considered a secondary offense, meaning that a driver must be pulled over for a primary offense, speeding, following too closely, or some other offense. The fine on the first offense is $40 and every offense thereafter is $100.
This is not the first legislation aimed at cell phone use behind the wheel in Maryland. SB 98: Prohibits the writing of text messages on Maryland’s public roadways. This went into effect October 1, 2009. This is considered a primary offense (meaning a driver can be pulled over for this alone) and can be subject to a fine of up to $500.
This is becoming an issue for all users of cell phones throughout the country. Below I have added all the current states requiring use of hands-free devices. Keep in mind these are only laws that are statewide laws.
Alabama – none
Arizona – none
Arkansas – Text messaging prohibited for all drivers. Drivers 18-20 must use hands-free
California – 18+ hands-free needed, text messaging in any form prohibited.
Colorado – text messaging in any form prohibited. Drivers under 18 prohibited from cell phone use.
Connecticut – 18+ must use hands-free, texting prohibited for all drivers ($100/$150/$200)
Delaware – none presently Jan 3, 2011 Handheld cell phone use and use of Web prohibited for all drivers, hands free ok
DC – none
Florida – none
Georgia – Text messaging banned ($150 fine) Drivers under 18 – banned from hands-free
Idaho – none
Illinois – Text messaging prohibited for all drivers
Indiana – Under 18 – may not use wireless devices
Iowa – Text messaging banned for all drivers. (Currently in warning period)
Kansas – Text messaging banned all drivers $60
Kentucky – Text messaging banned all drivers $25 first offense, $50 thereafter, and court costs
Louisiana – Text messaging banned all drivers up to $175 then $500. Under 18 all wireless device use prohibited
Maine – General distracted driving law penalizes motorists who fail to have their vehicles under control due to wide range of behaviors. Enforcement tied to other traffic offense or accident.” source
Massachusetts – Text messaging banned all drivers (internet activities as well).
Under 18, cell phone use banned. – both laws effective October 1, 2010
Michigan – Text messaging unlawful all drivers first $100, after $200.
Minnesota – Text messaging banned all drivers.
Missouri – Under 21 prohibited from text messaging
Montana – none
Nebraska – Text messaging banned all drivers. (effective July 1, 2010)
Nevada – none
New Hampshire – Text messaging banned all drivers.
New Jersey – Drivers must use hands-free. $100 plus fines. Text messaging and USE OF VIDEO GAMES prohibited while driving.
New Mexico – cell phones banned for driving students and drivers of state vehicles
New York – Hands-free for cell phones. $150 and text messaging banned – secondary enforcement
North Carolina – Text messaging banned all drivers.
North Dakota – none
Ohio – none
Oklahoma – none
Oregon – Hands-free for drivers over 18. Text messaging banned all drivers
Pennsylvania – none
Rhode Island – text messaging prohibited all drivers. Under 18 cell phone use prohibited
South Carolina – none
South Dakota – none
Tennessee – texting prohibited
Texas – Under 17 prohibited from wireless drivers. HANDHELD devices prohibited in school crossing zones
Utah – Text messaging outlawed for all drivers.
Vermont – Text messaging prohibited all Vermont drivers. under 18 banned from cell phone use
Virginia – Text messaging banned for all drivers, cell phone use banned all drivers under 18.
Washington – Texting prohibited. “Drivers are prohibited from holding cell phones and other wireless communications devices to their ears.”
West Virginia – none
Wisconsin – Text messaging prohibited fine ranges from $20-$400 None, but the state outlaws distracted driving, or “being so engaged or occupied as to interfere with the safe driving of that vehicle.” The fine is $173 and 4 points. (goes into effect December 2010)
Wyoming – none
In anticipation of the new law, Thedroidguy.com has teamed up with the fine folks at Motorola to give away a bluetooth a day. All you have to do is follow thedroidguy on twitter and retweet the message below
A winner will be randomly selected every night at 11pm EST.