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Md. laws will be more stringent for drivers using cell phones

Saturday - 9/21/2013, 10:07am  ET

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Starting October 1st, drivers can be pulled over for using their phone behind the wheel. (WTOP File)

Oh it's tempting, but put the phone down

WTOP's Megan Cloherty reports

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WASHINGTON - Drivers may be tempted when they hear their phone ding or buzz, but they'll have to resist even picking up the phone while driving in Maryland, or risk being pulled over.

Using a handheld cell phone while driving is already illegal in the state, but starting October 1, police officers can pull drivers over for it.

A new state law will soon go into effect making using a phone while driving a primary offense, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That means drivers can get a ticket if they are using the phone, even if they are not breaking any other traffic rules.

Up until now it has been a secondary offense in the state.

Drivers will face fines of $75 for a first offense, up to $175 for a third offense.

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