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Md. bill aims to strengthen distracted driving laws

Maryland lawmakers want to enable police to pull someone over if they are talking on a handheld cell phone while driving.

The House Environmental Matters Committee was holding a hearing Tuesday that would make it a primary offense, instead of a secondary one.

That means a police officer could pull someone over after observing a driver talking on a handheld cell phone. Under current law, police can only issue a citation for talking on a cell phone while driving after another violation is observed.

The bill is being sponsored by Del. James Malone, a Baltimore County Democrat, and Del. A. Wade Kach, a Baltimore County Republican.

Now, nine states and the District of Columbia enforce the law as a primary offense.

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