The Maryland State Police, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Westminster Police Department are joining together this month for a multi-agency enforcement effort focused on distracted driving, officials said Monday.
“During this enforcement initiative deputies, troopers, and officers will be stopping drivers for distracted driving including the use of handheld phones for calling or texting while driving,” MSP spokesman Ron Snyder said in an email.
Drivers in Maryland caught using a cellphone while driving face a fine of up to $83. Second-time offenders face a maximum fine of $140 and third-time offenders face a maximum fine of $160.
Drivers can also be fined $70 and face one point on their driving record if caught texting while driving. If the use of a device contributes to a crash, the fine may increase to $110 and three points on your driving record, police said.
“Every time a driver takes their eyes off the road and focuses their attention on something else, they are endangering themselves, those in their vehicle and everyone else on the road around them,” Snyder said in a statement.
As an example, Snyder said a person who looks down at their phone to text for just five seconds while driving 55 mph “is like covering the length of a football field while driving blindfolded.”