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MARYLAND STATUTES AND CODES

Section 21-1124.2 - Communications Traffic Safety Act.

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§ 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 CFR 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)Enforcement as secondary offense.- A police officer may enforce this section only as a secondary action when the police officer detains a driver for a suspected violation of another provision of the Code.(f)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 $40; and(ii) For a second or subsequent offense, a fine of $100.(2) For a first offense under this section, points may not be assessed against the individual under § 16-402 of this article unless the offense contributes to an accident.(g)Penalties - Waiver.- The court may waive a penalty under subsection (f) 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. [2010, chs. 538, 716.]
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  • § 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 CFR 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)  Enforcement as secondary offense.- A police officer may enforce this section only as a secondary action when the police officer detains a driver for a suspected violation of another provision of the Code. 

    (f)  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 $40; and 

    (ii) For a second or subsequent offense, a fine of $100. 

    (2) For a first offense under this section, points may not be assessed against the individual under § 16-402 of this article unless the offense contributes to an accident. 

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

    [2010, chs. 538, 716.] 
     

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