(July 13, 2009)—On October 1 Maryland imposes a new law on its citizens that bans 'texting' while driving. Texting is sending text messages to another person using a mobile phone. A similar law went into effect in Virginia on July 1.
A study last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about half of drivers ages 18 to 24 said they texted behind the wheel at least occasionally.
The Maryland law makes the activity a misdemeanor crime of driving while using a text messaging device to write or send a text while operating a motor vehicle in the travel portion of the roadway. A civil penalty will be imposed and a fine of not more than $500.00 can be enforced if convicted.
"Driving is a full time job; it requires full time attention," said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson. "Any activity that requires you to take your eyes off the road and type is not compatible with safe driving. No time is the right time to text and drive."