House votes to ban reading texts while driving

March 11, 2010|By Annie Linskey | Baltimore Sun reporter

Maryland's House of Delegates on Thursday approved a ban on reading text messages while driving, expanding a prohibition the legislature passed last year that made it illegal to send or receive texts.

The legislation also prohibits minors from talking on cell phones while driving, aside from making an emergency phone call. Violators of the proposed ban would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable with a $500 fine.

Delegates voted 135-2 in support of the measure, which still must be approved by the Senate.

If the bill becomes law, it will put Maryland in line with 19 other states and Washington, D.C., which do not allow texting while driving. Six states and the District of Columbia prohibit any use of a cell phone while driving.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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