In a landmark vote, the House of Delegates voted 125-14 in favor of a ban on talking on hand-held cell phones while driving, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who said he would sign it. The adoption of the legislation placed Maryland among a handful of states to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving for motorists of all ages. Advocates say the bill would save lives by reducing the distractions drivers encounter behind the wheel. The law, which ultimately went into effect Oct. 1, made using a hand-held cell phone — including taking photos or video — while behind the wheel a secondary offense, allowing police officers to pull someone over for a violation only if they observe the driver committing some other offense, such as speeding or following too closely. The bill's approval prompted a mixed reaction, from enthusiastic approval to stubborn resistance.
Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston