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Md. police cite 1,600+ drivers for cellphones

Thursday - 11/21/2013, 2:17pm  ET

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland State Police say they've issued more than 1,600 citations to people using hand-held cellphones while driving since a state ban took effect Oct. 1.

The Frederick News-Post reported Thursday that state troopers have issued 1,658 electronic citations for cellphone driving violations. Electronic citations are printed by devices in patrol cars. The figure doesn't include handwritten tickets.

The law that took effect last month makes talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving a primary offense. That means police can pull over drivers and ticket them solely for talking on hand-held cellphones behind the wheel.

Previously, drivers talking on hand-held devices could be ticketed only if they had been pulled over for another violation.

Penalties range from $75 for a first offense to $175 for repeat offenses.

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